Dr. Pedro Reyes named interim president of UTSA
(March 3, 2017) -- Acting UTSA president Dr. Pedro Reyes has been named Interim President following today's announcement by Dr. Ricardo Romo that he is retiring, effective immediately. Reyes will hold the position until a new permanent president is named for UTSA, prior to the start of the fall 2017 semester.
In an email communication sent today, Reyes thanked the UTSA faculty and staff for their continued commitment to UTSA students during this period of transition.
"I know the past few weeks have been a time of uncertainty for you," he wrote. "Over the course of my 30-year career in higher education I, too, have witnessed leadership changes and understand how challenging it can be to stay focused. So, first of all, I want to thank you for your continued commitment to what is most important – taking care of our students."
Reyes sent a separate email communication to UTSA students. In that message, he reminded students of the university's unwavering commitment to their success.
"While my tenure at UTSA will only last a few months, I want you to know that you can count on me to advocate for your best interests," he said. "Academic success has always been, and will continue to be, my utmost priority."
From 2012 to 2015, Reyes served as the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas (UT) System. In that role, he was the architect developing the vision and creating a new Institution, UT Rio Grande Valley, which included a medical school. This area was the most underserved area in Texas. He worked with nine academic presidents to develop institutional policies and funding strategies for each academic institution within the UT System.
From 2003 to 2012, Reyes was associate vice chancellor for academic planning and assessment for the UT System Office of Academic Affairs. In that role, Reyes worked primarily in education policy. He also directed the Student Learning Assessment Project for the academic institutions, and Academic Initiatives for Academic Affairs, which included managing a $40 million dollar fund to improve research infrastructure and capacity among academic institutions. Reyes was involved with the execution of the UT System's annual tuition and fee plan and annual budget presentations. He served on System Task Forces on issues including capital planning and admissions. Reyes also served on boards of external education organizations including P-16 Council and the Texas Education Reform Foundation.
From 1990 to 2012, Reyes joined the faculty at UT-Austin. He was associate dean of graduate studies and professor of education policy and administration. The associate dean assists the vice president and dean of the Graduate School on overall graduate academic policy, the administration of inter-institutional collaboration, student recruitment, fellowship administration, and academic program review and evaluation for graduate programs in social sciences and professional schools. He managed a $3 million dollar budget and significant resources for fellowship awards.
Reyes is personally and professionally passionate about education research and the craft of teaching. In his writing, Reyes focuses on student success, particularly for children living in poverty, and he has had articles appear in several prestigious journals, including Educational Administration Quarterly, the High School Journal, Journal of Educational Research, and the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences.
Reyes has authored several books, including Resiliency and Success: Migrant children in the US (2004); Lessons from High Poverty High Performance Schools: Creating Learning Communities (1999); and Teachers and Their Workplace: Commitment, Performance, and Productivity (1990). In addition, he has authored numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and monographs, including a significant number of papers presented at national and international academic conferences, and held positions with many scholarly journals, including editor of the book review section of Educational Researcher and associate editor of the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.
Reyes has raised more than $22 million in research development grants from foundations including The Spencer Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Foundation, the Texas Education Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Houston Endowment, Inc., The Brown Foundation, and the U. S. Department of Education.
Reyes received a bachelor's degree in Latin American History and Education and a Ph.D. in Education Policy & Administration from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. From 1985 to 1986, Reyes served on the faculty at the University of Kansas-Lawrence, after which he returned to the University of Wisconsin–Madison as a member of its faculty, where he stayed until 1990. In December 1990, Reyes joined the faculty at UT-Austin, where he remained for 12 years.
Professional recognition for Reyes includes several notable distinctions. The National Academy of Education selected Reyes as a fellow. In 2007, Reyes received the Past President's Award for heading the University Council for Educational Administration, a national consortium of higher education institutions dedicated to improving education policy and administration. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education. He has also been named to numerous national committees to review the quality of university programs, such as the Ohio Board of Regents Review for Education Programs.
Reyes is married to Gloria C. Reyes, a former teacher. They have two adult sons, Pedro Jr., who works for Travis County, and Adalberto Damian, who works with the federal government. They reside in Austin and San Antonio respectively. In his spare time, Reyes enjoys reading and travelling with his family. Museums are always at the top of the list of destinations. When not at work, Reyes enjoys teaching and playing with his grandchildren.
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