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List of possible candidates to become UTEP’s next President makes way to UT Board of Regents

Gaby Velasquez
President Natalicio addresses the media in accordance with the news of her retirement on Tuesday, May 22 at the President’s Office.

The search for UTEP’s newest president is making progress. A list of possible candidates has made its way to the UT System Board of Regents.

In a special meeting via telephone conference call Wednesday, Feb. 13, the UT System Board of Regents discussed possible candidates for a new president.  

They also discussed the actions needed to be made “concerning individual personnel matters related to the search for a president,” during executive session.

In open session, Regent and El Pasoan Paul Foster moved to have the regents authorize Chairman Kevin Eltife, Chancellor James Milliken, and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Steven Leslie take action that was recommended to the board in executive session to invite the candidates to interview with the board at a future meeting.

The number of possible candidates was not mentioned and a date for the future meeting was not set. 

By law, regents must make the names of the candidates available to the public 21 days before the board votes to name a president.

In May 2018, President Diana Natalicio announced she would be retiring after 30 years as UTEP’s president.

She told The Prospector during her announcement, “I will be happy to serve as long as I need to in order to make a smooth transition.”

Natalicio, who was named one of TIME Magazine’s most influential people of 2017, said she would like for her successor to continue a commitment to access to a public higher education, particularly with low income and underrepresented students.

In August 2018, a president search advisory committee was formed and worked to identify and recruit potential candidates alongside a global search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates.

According to UT System Regents’ rules and regulations, the selection criteria for the next president must relate to the needs of the individual institution. The advisory committee must submit to the Board an unbiased selection of no more than 10 recommended candidates and they must receive a majority vote of the committee.

The Board then determines which candidates will be further interviewed before naming a finalist or finalists.

If none of the names submitted by the committee fulfills the Board of Regents satisfactions, the Board can either select a new committee or select a president “under other procedures as in its discretion it may deem proper and appropriate,” according to the Regents’ rules.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to have regular meeting Feb. 26 and 27 in Austin, Texas.

Stay with The Prospector for all the latest updates on the search for a new president.

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Gaby Velasquez, Photo editor
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List of possible candidates to become UTEP’s next President makes way to UT Board of Regents