University of Texas at Brownsville
|Motto||Latin: Disciplina Praesidium Civitatis|
Motto in English
|Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy.|
|Type||Public State University|
|Active||September 1, 1991(merged with UT–Pan American to form The UTRGV)–June 30, 2015|
|Provost||Alan F. J. Artibise|
|279 (Fall 2013)|
|Students||8,612 (Fall 2013)|
|Campus||Urban, 524 acres (2.3 km2)|
|Colors||Burnt Orange, White & Blue|
|Athletics||Red River Athletic Conference|
|Mascot||Ozzie the Ocelot|
The University of Texas at Brownsville (abbreviated as UTB and formerly known as the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College [UTB/TSC]) was an educational institution located in Brownsville, Texas. The university was on the land once occupied by Fort Brown. It was a member of the University of Texas System. The institution was formed from a 1991 partnership between the two-year Texas Southmost College and University of Texas-Pan American at Brownsville. The partnership ended in 2011 as UTB became a standalone University of Texas institution, and Texas Southmost College returned to being an independent community college. UTB itself offered baccalaureate and graduate degrees in liberal arts, sciences, education, business, and professional programs.
Texas Southmost College
Texas Southmost College (TSC) was established in 1926 under the name "The Junior College of the Lower Rio Grande Valley." It admitted its first class on September 21 of that same year. In 1931, its name was changed to "Brownsville Junior College." In 1950, the institution was given its current name, Texas Southmost College.
University of Texas-Pan American at Brownsville
In 1973, Texas Southmost College formed a partnership with Pan-American University, later known as the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA). The partnership allowed Pan-American University to establish a four-year university in Brownsville. The resulting independent institution was referred to as Pan American University at Brownsville. In 1989, Pan American University joined the University of Texas System, creating the University of Texas Pan-American at Brownsville (UTPA-B). Brownsville sought a university directly under the UT System and in 1991 the University of Texas Pan-American at Brownsville became the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB).
University of Texas at Brownsville-Texas Southmost College
After UTB was created, a partnership was established between UTB and TSC, allowing TSC students to seamlessly transition to the four year University without reapplying. The university has academic colleges including business, education, liberal arts and nursing. UTB-TSC's funding came from both the college tax district as well as the State of Texas. After failure to pass a 2002 multimillion-dollar bond, the TSC tax district voters successfully passed a $68 million bond issue to construct additional classrooms ($28 million), additional library space ($14 million), Workforce Training Classrooms ($17 million), Center for Early Childhood Studies ($4 million), and Center for Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Cancer, and Heart Disease ($5 million). Juliet V. García served as UTB-TSC President from 1991 to 2011; Garcia was the first Hispanic woman to be the president of a college or university in the United States.
End of educational partnership with Texas Southmost College
On November 10, 2010, the University of Texas System Board of Regents voted to end the University of Texas at Brownsville's educational partnership with Texas Southmost College. On February 17, 2011, the TSC Board of Trustees voted 4-3 to separate from UTB.
Merger with UTPA and Medical School
On December 6, 2012, the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System approved a proposal to merge UTB, the University of Texas–Pan American, and a planned medical school into one regional institution. On December 12, 2013, the UT Board of Regents voted to name the new university The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
The name of the institution evolved over the years:
- 1926–1931: The Junior College of the Lower Rio Grande Valley
- 1931–1949: Brownsville Junior College
- 1949–1992: Texas Southmost College
- 1992–2013: The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
- 2013–2015: The University of Texas at Brownsville
|Dates of office||President||Notes|
|9/1/1991 – 12/31/1991||Homer J. Peña||Founding president|
|1/1/1992 – 8/31/2014||Juliet V. García|
|9/1/2014 – 2015||William Richard Fannin||Interim CEO|
Until the fall of 2011, UT Brownsville had open admissions, meaning prospective students had no admissions criteria. In August 2011 the University of Texas System Board of Regents approved new admission standards for UT Brownsville, and awaited the approval of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The restricted UT Brownsville admissions began in the fall of 2013.
UTB's campus sat on 524 acres (2.3 km2) of land in the southern part of Brownsville, Texas. A resaca, or oxbow lake, flows through the heart of the growing landscape. The university's unique architecture plays off the campus's rich history in Fort Brown. Many of the oldest buildings on campus remain from the old U.S. Army outpost. The university has also acquired many buildings in the surrounding area, including a former Holiday Inn hotel complex, former condominiums, the Amigoland Mall, and many historic buildings of downtown Brownsville. The university continues to expand, recently purchasing substantial acreage east of Fort Brown.
Undergraduate colleges and schools
- College of Biomedical Sciences and Health Professions
- College of Applied Technology and General Studies
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Science, Mathematics, and Technology
- School of Business
- College of Education
- School of Health Sciences
Notable academic programs
UTB was home to several academic centers and programs that have received local, state, and national recognition.
- Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy Research focuses on astrophysical source modeling, gravitational wave data analysis, and the phenomenological astrophysics of gravitational wave sources.
- Center for Biomedical Studies was established to conduct biological and medical research on regional health issues and biotechnological approaches that may contribute to regional development.
- Center for Civic Engagement
The Student Government Association at UTB hosts the officers of the student body. The SGA runs a three-branch system, with the Executive Board consisting of the Student Body Officers, the Legislative Board consisting of the Student Senate, and the Judicial Board consisting of the Chief and Associate Justices.
The university recognizes more than 50 but less than 100 student organizations. In addition, it supports the Student Organization Council, an official student governance organization that represent student interests to faculty, and administrators.
Traditions at the University of Texas at Brownsville were perpetuated through several school symbols and mediums. At athletic events, students frequently showed their support by chanting the "Sting 'em Hard" slogan while displaying the "Sting 'em Hard" hand gesture—the gesture mimicking the scorpion, the university's former mascot.
UTB teams, nicknamed athletically as the Ocelots, were part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Men's sports included golf and soccer; while women's sports include golf, soccer and volleyball;and basketball.
The UTB Ocelots women's volleyball team was ranked #18 in the NAIA, but lost the standing after a bad 2008 season. In 2009, under new head coach Todd Lowery, formerly of National American University, the Scorpions began to shine again, achieving a #12 ranking in the NAIA. In December 2011, the UTB volleyball team won its first national championship.
In soccer, the UTB Ocelots played their games at the REK Center field, pending construction of their own athletic field. In two years with the NAIA, each soccer team has lost only two games in Brownsville, the men's loss coming against the University of St. Thomas in 2007 and the women's loss coming against conference rival Texas Wesleyan University in 2008. In men's soccer, the team has a 12-0 conference record in two years.
The University of Texas at Brownsville was widely regarded for having one of the strongest chess programs in the nation. In 2010, they placed 2nd in the Final Four of College Chess, which they hosted.
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