Award includes $24,000 in donations that will be used to provide scholarships for employees pursuing a degree

  Tuesday, May 21, 2024
  Around Campus, Announcements, Awards

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – MAY 21, 2024 – UTRGV President Guy Bailey has received the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2024 Chief Executive HR Champion Award, given in recognition of his commitment to the employees of the university.

The award honors a president or chancellor of a higher education institution or system who has demonstrated significant support for the institution’s human resources.

Under Bailey’s leadership, UTRGV launched an accredited Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration program, offered at no-cost to eligible faculty and staff. The program prepares those who aspire to leadership positions in key college or university administrative areas with the required knowledge, skills and competencies needed to enter such positions.

Bailey said he is honored to accept the CUPA-HR award, and reinforced his commitment to creating and providing opportunities and options that help improve quality of life for the more than 7,000 employees who work at UTRGV.

“The master’s program is an important part of the university’s succession planning strategy,” Bailey said. “We have great people here at UTRGV and we want to support and reward their dedication to this university. I am humbled and deeply grateful to Segal for this recognition.”

The HR Champion award includes an $8,000 donation to UTRGV from Segal, an association specializing in human resources consulting. Additionally, Bailey and his wife, Val La Mantia, each will match this amount, raising the total contribution to $24,000. The funds will be utilized to offer scholarships starting this fall, supporting employees who wish to pursue further education.

Nicole Englitsch, organizational development manager at UTRGV, said that with Bailey’s support, the master’s program in Higher Education Administration increased the number of program scholarships from 50 to 100, and he served as instructor of record for the program’s Finance in Higher Education class.

In addition, Bailey has approved funding for several human resources employees to become certified leadership coaches, and to allow for additional certification in emotional intelligence assessments and 360-degree assessments, so those services can be offered to faculty, staff and student leaders.

“Dr. Bailey shows that he wants to create a climate that promotes a welcoming, inclusive and nurturing campus climate,” Englitsch said. “He values engagement, shared governance, leadership, inclusion and well-being. It is not just lip service. His actions over the years – and especially his most recent funding for large, people-development projects – show he is willing to put resources behind his strategic priorities for staff and faculty development.”


CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. The firm serves higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Serving more than 36,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at nearly 2,000 member institutions and organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary, benefits and demographic data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.