UT Brownsville welcomes new era, says goodbye to faculty





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Published on May 25, 2012

President of the University of Texas at Brownsville Dr. Juliet Garcia said the university is looking towards the future.

In doing so, the 20-year partnership between UTB and Texas Southmost College must part ways.

Garcia said as part of the change, 90 of the current 300 faculty members, will be terminated.

Garcia said those faculty members have already been notified in order to allow them time to look for other jobs or make the necessary adjustments.

She adds, it's been a difficult process.

"They have committed and dedicated their lives to the teaching of students here," Garcia said. "They didn't care whether (students) were pursuing an associate degree or a baccalaureate it was a student at UTB-TSC."

According to Garcia, there are currently about 15,000 students at UTB-TSC.

Once the split happens at the start of the 2013-2014 school year, only about 60 percent of students will stay with the university.

"I'm going to have a different number of students, so I'm going to need a different number of faculty to teach those students," Garcia said.

Despite the job cuts, classification of students as UTB or TSC students, and division of buildings - that's still pending - Garcia said these changes are geared towards establishing an autonomous university and all that comes with it, such as tougher admission standards, faculty with research and publication work, diverse student life and more programs and degrees offered.

"For (new) students that were coming to us, they always would have to make that kind of judgment -- 'I want to go to a real university,'" Garcia said. "So it's real. It is as real as it gets, and everyday it propels itself forward. We just got (accredited by the) Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, for our school of business. Only 20 percent of schools in the nation have that."

The UT system recently approved a tuition increase at its universities to make up for the lack of state funding, for the next two years.

Garcia said that translates to about $80 in increases for each UTB student. However, she said the money invested, will be worth every penny when graduation rolls around.

"You want a brand name next to your degree," Garcia said. "You're going to get that at UT-Brownsville because you get the benefit of the UT name, which is profound."


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