The Hidalgo County Commissioners' Court approved a resolution supporting the unification of The University of Texas-Pan American, The University of Texas at Brownsville and the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen to create a regional university with its own medical school.
The new university will have access to the Permanent University Fund, which will allow it to spend more money on research, leading it to become an emerging research institution.
Once established, the new university will be the second largest Hispanic Serving Institution in the country and create 10,000 jobs throughout the Valley.
The UT System's plan still needs approval from the Texas Legislature, but the Rio Grande Valley legislative delegation said they would make passing a law for the new university a priority.
UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen and UTPA Chief of Staff Lisa Prieto attended the Commissioner's Court Dec. 18 meeting, when commissioners approved the resolution.
Members of Commissioners' Court praised the proposal, noting that the regional effort will produce tremendous education and economic benefits for all Valley residents.