|Frances A. Rios|
Rios has served as director of materials management for the last 19 years and will now be directing the human resources aspect of the University.
“I’m quite flattered that the administration had such confidence in my abilities as a leader,” Rios said.
She said she sees the new position as a challenge and an opportunity for her and the staff to move the human resources department forward.
“I look forward to working together with the human resources staff in implementing operational excellence in the human resource function, gaining the trust and respect of management and employees and coming up with strategies to deliver on University departments’ and employees’ needs,” she said. “I also hope to maximize the capabilities of the Oracle ERP System within human resources, and redesign business processes to eliminate aspects that don’t add value.”
Vice President for Business Affairs James Langabeer said Rios will now have more of an executive role and contribute to the direction of the division as part of her new duties.
“Frances is a good fit because the University community respects the fact that she is a proven decisionmaker who will be a strong proponent for the human resources department,” Langabeer said. “She has a record of addressing and solving problems. She uses resources wisely and I trust her judgment.”
Rios started her 35-year history of employment with the University as a work-study while she was a student. Through the years she has held various roles as an administrative secretary, clerk and purchaser. She has served as assistant director of purchasing, interim director and director of purchasing/materials management. As director of materials management she oversaw the purchasing department, contracts office, travel services, historically underutilized business program, and central receiving.
She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UTPA and a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager certification from the Institute for Supply Management.
Rios served as president of the Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana (TOAL) regional group of NAEP (National Association of Educational Procurement) in 1993-1994 and in various NAEP and TOAL committees. She chaired The University of Texas Purchasing Council from 1996 to 2001. She is also a member of The University of Texas Travel Management Council, Institute for Supply Management, National Purchasing Institute, Society for Collegiate Travel Management, and has served on various university committees.
Even though Rios has had opportunities to go elsewhere, she felt the University was the best fit for her.
“In considering those other opportunities and the monetary factor, I also evaluated the work environment, the leadership I would have to work with, how the organization took care of its employees, whether the work would be challenging, interesting, and satisfying to me personally,” she said. “In retrospect, I’ve enjoyed my time at UTPA.”