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Wilson voted in by UT Board of Regents

Claudia “Gigi” Flores
Dr. Heather Wilson, U.S. Secretary of the Air Force and sole finalist for UTEP presidency, visited the UTEP campus and addressed the media on Monday, March 11.

A new president for UTEP has officially been named. The University of Texas Board of Regents have appointed U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Heather Wilson as the new UTEP President.

Wilson will succeed Dr. Diana Natalicio, who will be retiring after 30 years as UTEP’s president.

The vote comes after Wilson received backlash for her voting record against LGBTQ rights and funding for black and Hispanic serving institutions as a former New Mexico congresswoman.

Many students and some faculty members have expressed concern over Wilson’s past on LGBTQI and voting record. An online petition asking for Wilson to be removed has grossed over 10,500 signatures asking for her removal.

Wilson, a former university president, was unanimously appointed by the Board of Regents during Tuesday’s special meeting via conference call.

During executive session five people of the public spoke against Wilson to the Board of Regents. They were given three minutes to address their concerns.  

“Replacing a president with this level of accomplishment and achievement that Dr. Natalicio has assembled over three decades is not an easy task and nobody that it would be going easy going into this,” said UT Board of Regent and El Pasoan Paul Foster.

“I can not say enough to thank Dr. Natalicio for her 30 plus years of service and to commend her for her accomplishments.”

He continued, “I have no reservations whatsoever about her appointment as the next president of UTEP. No candidate for a job this important is going to come to us with opposition.”  

Foster also said he appreciates the comments of those who spoke in opposition and claimed that the appointment is not politically motivated.

“She’s been brought forward on her merit, her skills and her ability.”

The Board stated that they appreciated the involvement of students for and against Wilson and assures students that the Board will work hard maintain all that they love about UTEP.

They also hope to earn the trust and respect of those who oppose Wilson.

Wilson will officially take over as UTEP President on August 15, 2019.

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Daniel Mendez, Staff reporter
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Wilson voted in by UT Board of Regents