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UT Board of Regents meet at UTEP, ASARCO on agenda

Ruby Cerino
The UT Board of Regions meets to discuss UT Rio Grande’s new mascot and school colors.

The University of Texas Board of Regents, the governing body for the U.T. System, is meeting at UTEP for two days to discuss budget line items.

One of the agenda items that will be discussed tomorrow for approval is the purchase of approximately 443 acres of land, where the former smelter site of ASARCO was located, for UTEP campus expansion.

Items discussed during today’s meeting included a name change for the UT Arlington College of Nursing to the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, creation of an honors college at UT Dallas and approval to establish a doctor of nursing program degree at UT Austin, among others.

Executive Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Pedro Reyes also led a discussion regarding student assessment and learning for the UT System, although no conclusion was reached.

“Over 10 years ago, this board asked us to look into student learning assessment,” Reyes said.

Reyes discussed a system test called Collegiate Learning Assessment, which tests five different critical skills that are supposed to be developed through the core curriculum.

Currently the test is only a possible future recommendation.

UT Rio Grande Valley, a new merger between UT Brownsville and UT Pan American was granted the approval of a new mascot and colors.

More than 15,000 respondents participated in a combination of group forums, online surveys and focus groups regarding the decision to choose a mascot for UTRGV.

“No consensus emerged… most respondents wanted to make sure we preserved some iconic landmarks, “ UTRGV President Guy Bailey said.

Although no consensus was achieved at for the mascot, a majority of people agreed the colors should be orange, blue and green and the mascot be named as Vaquero (cowboy).

“There is no greater icon in our region than the Vaquero, the most iconic figure in American culture began right there in the Rio Grande Valley,” Bailey said.

According to Bailey, the idea was pitched by UT Pan American sculpture students and an art professor.

One of the last budget items discussed was support for military veteran students, a discussion in which UTEP President Diana Natalicio spoke about programs UTEP has in place to help this group of students.

Natalicio spoke about UTEP’s close relationship to Fort Bliss.

“To meet that demand we established the Military Student Success Center in the library,” Natalicio said. “It is designed to provide a one-stop shop for veteran students.”

Among other things in place at UTEP to help veteran students succeed is Green Zone training, which provides faculty and staff with a greater awareness about military students.

“It is designed to recognize certain issues that might develop and to be able to make those type of referrals in a timely manner,” Natalicio said.

Other services offered include online courses and programs to enable military students when they’re deployed.

“We think that this suite of services that we have offer have been quite effective in helping them succeed,” Natalicio said.

Natalicio will be presenting about UTEP’s centennial celebration at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, Nov. 6, at the Tomás Rivera Conference Center, third floor of Union East.

Maria Esquinca may be reached at [email protected].

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UT Board of Regents meet at UTEP, ASARCO on agenda