MCALLEN, RGV – Business and community leaders in the Rio Grande Valley are being asked to give input into UT-Rio Grande Valley’s first ever strategic plan.

In a letter that has been sent out to hundreds of businesses and organizations, UTRGV is asking these two questions:

•    What can UTRGV improve or initiative to better serve our stakeholders?

•     What is one way that UTRGV can partner with your organization for mutual benefit as we seek to address our core priorities?

The two questions were put to McAllen Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors by Theresa Maldonado, senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development at UTRGV.

Theresa Maldonado
Theresa Maldonado

“We are probably two thirds of the way through our strategic planning process. Many of you, hopefully, all you, received a card in the mail from the Provost’s office. If you haven’t, the university is seeking input from leaders such as you to answer two questions. The first one is: What can UTRGV improve or initiative to better serve our stakeholders? The second question is: What is one way that UTRGV can partner with your organization for mutual benefit as we seek to address our core priorities?” Maldonado said.

“To be honest, the university still trying to merge together, psychologically. Most of the employees are from Edinburg or Brownsville. We working hard blend the culture and the campus and unite it to be one distributed campus. We had a campus master planner engaged as well, to look the facilities across the region. He is out of San Francisco. He has clearly stated, there is no other university in this country doing what we are doing. He said it is very, very exciting. But we need the community engaged and to give input to questions such as these.”

UTRGV Provost Havidan Rodriguez is overseeing the strategic plan. In an interview with the Rio Grande Guardian in June, Rodriguez said the success of the strategic planning process will depend on its committee’s ability to actively engage the university and external communities.

“This is truly an excellent opportunity for UTRGV and our internal and external communities. We get this one opportunity to craft a strategic plan that will define this institution for years to come. Dr. Bailey is expecting this plan will represent UTRGV’s guiding principles and our core priorities, and will help us establish one of the first new universities for the 21st Century,” Rodriguez said, at the outset of the strategic planning process.

Rodriguez acknowledged there will be “many challenges ahead.” However, he also said there are “great opportunities and exciting possibilities” as UTRGV moves forward in creating “a new, innovative, and transformative institution of higher education with student success at the forefront of what we do.”

Dr. Guy Bailey, president of UTRGV, asked Rodriguez to run the strategic planning process. He said he has charged the committee Rodriguez oversees to develop UTRGV’s founding strategic plan based on the university’s four areas of focus:

Student Success
Educational Opportunity
Medical Education
Research on the Issues Impacting the Region

“In addition, I have asked that the strategic plan be quantifiable and measurable to help determine our success, as well as concise and to the point. This strategic planning process also will guide and work collectively with the university’s master planning process,” Bailey said. “More importantly, we’d like this process to be inclusive.”

Bailey noted that Rodríguez has emphasized to members of the strategic planning committee the importance of actively communicating with their respective constituent groups and seeking feedback. “Your support and participation in this process is important to us,” Bailey said, noting that the committee’s progress can be viewed on a dedicated website. He said the website will be routinely updated with meeting summaries and other pertinent information. The website also includes a list of committee members.

“I’d like to thank Dr. Rodríguez and the committee for accepting this challenging yet substantial endeavor. Many strategic planning processes simply build off pre-existing plans, but we don’t have that luxury. Ours will be the first for the university and set the foundation for years and years to come,” Bailey said. “Together We Will Build Our Future!”

The website address is: