UT Regents to meet in El Paso this fall

EL PASO, Texas - ABC-7 has learned the University of Texas Board of Regents will meet in El Paso this fall.

It is the only meeting outside of Austin in 2014 and 2015, according to the schedule posted on the UT website.

"We are honored to welcome The University of Texas System Board of Regents to our campus this fall to join us in our Centennial Celebration," said UTEP Executive Vice President Richard Adauto.

"Having this meeting in El Paso demonstrates their commitment to and support of UTEP and its mission of providing access and excellence in higher education for the people of the Paso del Norte region as we embark on the next 100 years," he said.

The 9 members of the Board of Regents -- plus a student regent-- are appointed by the Texas governor. They constitute the governing body for the UT System's 9 academic institutions and 6 health institutions, managing an annual budget of $15 billion.

Its chairman is El Pasoan Paul Foster. He was appointed to the board in 2007, and elected chairman in August of 2013.

The meeting in El Paso will come at a time of transition for the UT system, as its chancellor, Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, announced this month he will be returning to private practice.

In a statement, Chairman Foster said Friday the regents will hire a consulting firm to help them search for Cigarroa's replacement.

"It is my hope that we will be able to select a new chancellor during the summer with a starting date at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester," he said.

Foster said he will chair the search process.

"This is an exciting and demanding assignment - one that falls to relatively few members of the Board of Regents over time. We understand the significance of this important responsibility, and we will work diligently to bring the UT institutions and UT System Administration the best chancellor imaginable," he said. "The people of Texas deserve nothing less."

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