The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

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Office of the Provost

Havidan RodriguezProvost's Welcome

Welcome to The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where we are developing a new university for the 21st century focused on ensuring student success, becoming an emerging research institution, and promoting excellence and innovation in everything we do.

Serving as its founding provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, I am honored to play a key leadership role in the formation of UTRGV as we develop an institution of higher education that will become a “Gateway to the Americas.”

The Division of Academic Affairs will:

  • Work to ensure the university community is actively engaged in pursuing its institutional mission and goals.
  • Continue to work to achieve excellence in teaching, research/scholarship, creative expression, and service.
  • Strive to build sustainable partnerships while engaging in regular communication with the local community, state government, and industry.
  • Play a significant role in increasing the university’s resources through externally funded research, state support, and philanthropy, including endowments and gifts.
  • Work collaboratively to increase UTRGV’s presence, visibility, and impact at the local, regional, state, national, and international level.
  • Strive to create an emerging research institution with new academic programs, especially doctoral programs for UTRGV.

Another important component for UTRGV is our focus on becoming a bilingual, bicultural, and biliterate institution. Thus, we endeavor to hire faculty that will allow us to expand our academic programs and scholarship in these areas. Further, faculty diversity, especially gender diversity in all fields, but particularly in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, is imperative for our success as an institution of higher education, and is a critical component of our NSF ADVANCE grant.

With a focus on student success and the goal of building an emerging research institution, it is our goal to identify, recruit, and retain highly qualified, talented, and diverse faculty members committed to UTRGV’s Guiding Principles, including the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research/scholarship, health care, and service, including community engagement.

As we embark on this exciting journey, there will be many challenges ahead, but also great opportunities and possibilities as we move forward in creating a new, innovative, and transformative institution of higher education. Again, student success is one of the highest priorities for UTRGV. Our faculty and staff will play a key role in ensuring that every aspect of the students’ educational experience is aligned with and focused on their success at UTRGV.

Join us on this exciting journey as we transform higher education in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.

Havidán Rodríguez, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

About Havidán Rodríguez, Ph.D.

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez is the Founding Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and a tenured professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). He also served as President, Ad Interim, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas - Pan American (UTPA). Prior to arriving at UTPA, Dr. Rodríguez served as the Deputy Provost, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs, and Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. He was also a core faculty member and former director of the Disaster Research Center (DRC), the oldest and one of the leading social science disaster research centers in the world. He obtained his PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Rodríguez held a faculty position and several administrative positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM) for over a decade, and served as Director of the Minority Affairs Program for the American Sociological Association (1995-1998). He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan’s Population Fellow’s Program (Summers, 2001-2003). Dr. Rodríguez has received numerous recognitions and awards, including: the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Spring, 2002); the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Outstanding Achievement Award (2004); was recognized as one of the Hispanics of the Year in the State of Delaware for which he received the Professional Achievement Award (2007); the Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (2015); was the featured cover story of the national publication, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine (July, 2015); was highlighted in the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (September 2015); and received the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity Cesar Estrada Chavez Award (2016).

Dr. Rodríguez has served on a number of committees for the National Academy of Sciences and on review panels for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Ford Foundation, and was the Chair of the Latina/o Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.

Dr. Rodríguez has received funding from NSF, the Ford Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the UPRM Sea Grant Program, among others, for a number of research projects focusing on the social science aspects of disasters and for projects aimed at providing hands-on research training and mentoring to undergraduate and graduate students. He was also the principal investigator for the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program: Training the Next Generation of Disaster Researchers, funded by NSF. Currently, he serves as the principal investigator for an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant aimed at increasing the representation, participation, and leadership of women faculty in STEM fields.

Dr. Rodríguez has led and participated in a number of field research projects, including trips to Honduras, following Hurricane Mitch; India and Sri Lanka, following the Indian Ocean Tsunami; and the Gulf Coast, following Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Rodríguez has a significant number of publications in the area of disasters, as well as Latinos/as in the United States. He is the co-editor (with Quarantelli and Dynes) of the Handbook of Disaster Research (2006) and the co-editor (with Sáenz and Menjívar) of Latinas/os in the United States: Changing the Face of América (2008).

His role in community engagement and service to the community, at the local, regional, and national level has been extensive. He has served on numerous community, professional, and university boards, organizations, and committees.

Contact Information

Office of Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
1201 West University Drive
Edinburg, Texas 78539
956-665-2114 fax             
One West University Blvd.
Brownsville, Texas 78520