The 2022-2023 biennium brought The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) much success. In 2015, UTRGV enrolled its first class of students, and seven years later, UTRGV is nationally known for providing affordable, high-quality education, accessible healthcare, pursuing and disseminating research, preparing an educated workforce, and engaging community partners in novel and impactful ways.

With enrollment of almost 32,000, UTRGV is one of the nation’s largest Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), serving the 150-mile Texas/Mexico border region known as the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). The RGV is a “medically underserved area” with one of the highest shortages of physicians and mental health providers in the nation. To meet numerous healthcare needs, UTRGV and its School of Medicine (SOM) engages in instruction, research, medical education, healthcare, and public service. 

Affordability has always been a cornerstone of UTRGV’s mission. We are proud to have been ranked:

  • 1st in Texas and 2nd nationally for “Least Student Debt” by U.S. News and World Report
  • 1st in Texas and 8th nationally by for “top Colleges for Your Money”
  • 1st in Texas and 2nd in the nation among public universities for lowest net price of attendance by Washington Monthly (2021) 
  • 4th in the nation for “Most Economic Mobility” by (2022)

The SOM welcomed its first class in 2016 and since then has graduated three classes of diverse and talented physicians. While young, the SOM has had a dramatic impact on increasing access to primary and specialty care in the RGV. The school continues to grow its clinical footprint across the Valley. The SOM is conducting important research in diabetes, Alzheimer’s, addiction disorders and various cancers as part of an ambitious plan to build a robust clinical trials program to translate research into tomorrow’s cures. 

UTRGV’s Institute of Neurosciences (ION) is establishing a world-class center of excellence in brain health education, research, and personalized treatment. The School of Podiatric Medicine (SOPM) is the first podiatric medical school in Texas, and only one of ten in the nation. When the Cancer and Surgery Center opens in 2025, UTRGV will have the first comprehensive academic cancer treatment program in the region and will be positioned to rapidly expand its research portfolio in bio specimen and oncology clinical trials research.

UTRGV is a game changer for the RGV, and we thank you for your investment in UTRGV and SOM. With your continued support, we look forward to what UTRGV will accomplish for the RGV and the State of Texas. 

Editor’s Note: The above commentary is based on a column UT-Rio Grande Valley President Guy Bailey penned for a brochure titled “The Future of Texas – Legislative Priorities 88th Legislative Session.” The brochure was distributed to state lawmakers on the Rio Grande Valley Partnership’s recent 2023 Valley Legislative Tour. The brochure includes the 2024-2025 Biennium funding request UTRGV is making to the Legislature for its General Academic Unit and its School of Medicine. 

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