UTRGV celebrates achievements, provost urges cooperation, at convocation
Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, UTRGV provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, addresses faculty and staff during the Fall 2016 Academic Affairs Convocation on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 at the Performing Arts Complex in Edinburg. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)
By Jennifer L. Berghom
RIO GRANDE VALLEY – AUG. 24, 2016 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Division of Academic Affairs celebrated Wednesday the accomplishments of its faculty, students and staff at its first of three Fall 2016 Convocations.
Highlights of the past year included the university receiving multimillion-dollar gifts from donors, several faculty winning large grants and awards, students garnering national awards, the university creating new programs and services to better serve students, and UTRGV having a first-year retention rate of 81.6 percent.
“I have to say thank you to all of you,” said Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “We would not be here if it were not for your great efforts, hard work, commitment and dedication. We are who we are, and we are where we are, because of you.”
During the event held at the Performing Arts Complex Auditorium on the Edinburg Campus, Rodríguez addressed faculty and staff members from the Colleges of Business & Entrepreneurship, Engineering & Computer Sciences, Fine Arts, Health Affairs, and Sciences, as well as the School of Medicine, Graduate College, and University College.
Faculty and staff also heard from UTRGV President Guy Bailey via a videotaped message, where he also praised faculty, staff and students for their hard work and leadership.
Rodríguez acknowledged that UTRGV’s first year was not always easy, but he said, despite any difficulty, the university has had an overall successful year because of everyone’s hard work. During his speech, he also encouraged the university community to embrace change and to work together to ensure the university’s continued success.
The provost also gave updates on new construction on the Brownsville and Edinburg Campuses, new academic programs, and changes to administrative processes that will better facilitate faculty, students and staff. He also asked those in attendance to give feedback on the university’s strategic plan, which is in the works.
Dr. Lin Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance in the College of Health Affairs, said she enjoyed Rodríguez’s emphasis on celebrating the accomplishments over the past year and stressing the importance of good strategic planning.
Wang agreed with Rodríguez on the need to work together to continue improving the university.
“That is the key to building our new university, and for building a stronger university, one that might lead higher education in the country and the world,” she said.
Joseph Diaz, UTRGV’s production and arts facilities manager, said he liked Rodríguez’s transparency throughout his speech.
“It’s nice that they’re able to paint a clear picture of what we’re doing, how we’re affecting the students, and where the university is going,” Diaz said.
Academic Affairs will host two other convocations, at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at the TSC Performing Arts Center in Brownsville, and at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Performing Arts Complex Auditorium in Edinburg.
The second convocation will address faculty and staff of the Colleges of Education & P-16 Integration and Liberal Arts, the Honors Program and Office of the Deputy Provost. The third will address the Offices of Student Success and Information Technology.
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UTRGV Senior Writer / 956-665-7192
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742