HARLINGEN, RGV – The new chancellor of the University of Texas System, William H. McRaven, visited South Texas last Wednesday to see how the new UT-Rio Grande Valley is shaping up.

He met privately with administrators, faculty, staff and student leaders at UT-Pan American in Edinburg, UT-Brownsville in Brownsville, and the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen.

Afterwards, McRaven issued a statement about the visit. In it he said everything is on schedule for the launch of UTRGV. Here is McRaven’s statement in full:

This week I traveled to Brownsville, Edinburg and Harlingen for a series of very enlightening meetings with administrative, faculty, staff and student leaders of the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, including its medical school. I was awestruck by the exceptional quality, speed and extraordinary diligence and detail with which the institution is taking shape, as well as the cohesiveness and determination of all involved to open the doors of what may be the nation’s second largest Hispanic-serving institution, only seven months from now.

Having had the opportunity to see this great work in progress, I must pause and offer sincere thanks to the Texas Legislature, the UT System Board of Regents, Chancellor Cigarroa and the entire South Texas community for their vision and foresight to do something so grand and unprecedented for Texas and the nation. When one thinks of the potential of this institution to transform lives, the outcomes will be immeasurable and will have impact in ways that we cannot even begin to fathom.

I am pleased to announce that everything is on schedule. UTRGV will open on time for the 2015 fall semester, and all new students as well as those currently enrolled at UT Pan American and UT Brownsville will be able to enroll in UTRGV as planned. We remain focused on completing an orderly windup of affairs of UTPA and UTB and look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of these two great institutions.

The UT System is also committed to standing with and assisting Texas Southmost College in the months ahead as it completes the required processes to receive its independent accreditation.

McRaven has replaced Dr. Francisco Cigarroa as chancellor of the UT System. Cigarroa, along with UT System Regent Gene Powell, is credited with devising the plan of folding UTPA, UTB and the RAHC to form UTRGV and its four-year school of medicine. Cigarroa, a native of Laredo, announced last year that he was resigning as chancellor to return to medicine. He is now head of pediatric transplant surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he served as president for eight years prior to being named as the system chancellor.