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Regents approve UTRGV’s provisional mission statement

The University of Texas System board of regents approved the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s provisional mission statement during its meeting last Thursday.

“We are about to begin a strategic planning process at UTRGV,” UTRGV President Guy Bailey said last Wednesday during the board’s Academic Affairs Committee meeting in Austin. “We’ve timed this to follow after the chancellor’s presentation, his vision, to the board and we’ll begin our strategic planning process. Out of that process, we’ll develop a mission statement for the institution. However, in the meantime, we need a mission statement for accrediting agencies. Some of our programs are being reaccredited and they always ask for a mission statement. So, what we’re asking you to do is to approve a provisional mission statement.”

Bailey said the mission statement was crafted based on the guiding principles for the new university approved by the regents on July 10, 2013. The statement lays out permanent priorities for UTRGV.

Steven Leslie, the UT System’s executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Bailey gave the recommendation for the proposed provisional mission statement.

The statement reads:
“The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley provides a high quality, innovative, and affordable education to the students of South Texas, the State of Texas, the United States and the world.

The University will transform Texas and the nation through student success, research, healthcare, and commercialization of university discoveries.”

Alberto Adame, president of UTRGV’s Student Government Association, said he agrees with the proposed mission statement and is happy the board of regents approved it.

“We, as the students, we can tell that some of the pieces are still falling in place and this is just one more of it,” Adame said. “I think the mission statement is very accurate of what the university officials have been doing and we, as the student body, have been pushing for. … I really like it. It’s just one more step in establishing the university.”

The provisional mission statement will serve as the foundation for the development of the institution’s first strategic plan. This ongoing process will involve UTRGV students, faculty and staff.

In 2013, the Texas Legislature repealed Texas Education Code Section 61.051(e), which directed the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to review the mission statements of public institutions every four years.

Each institution is required to have a mission statement under Texas Education Code Section 51.359. Furthermore, Section 51.352 of the code, regarding the Responsibility of Governing Boards, requires governing boards to “insist on clarity of focus and mission of each institution under its governance.”

In accordance with a directive by the board of regents on March 26, 2008, each mission statement must include a statement regarding the commercialization of university discoveries.

In November 2014, the board of regents amended Rule 10402, Section 1.7 (Duties of the Academic Affairs Committee), which directs the Academic Affairs Committee to review proposed changes to an academic institution’s mission statement and make recommendations to the board for approval.

A university’s president’s office can submit proposed changes to the mission statement of the university to proposal_ intake@utsystem.edu with a request for consideration by the UT System Academic Affairs Committee and board of regents.

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