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Rogelio Sáenz to focus on his research, step down as dean

Rogelio Sáenz to focus on his research, step down as dean

As Dean of the UTSA College of Public Policy, Sáenz has been effective in raising the profile of the college and building a thriving community of public servants and advocates among its students and alumni.

(Sept. 13, 2018) -- Sociologist and demographer Rogelio Sáenz recently announced his plans to focus on his research and step down as dean of the UTSA College of Public Policy, effective May 31, 2019. He has served as dean since 2011.

Sáenz researches and writes extensively on race and ethnic relations, demographic trends, immigration, public policy, social justice and human rights. Using data to contribute to the political and public dialogue surrounding current events, he is a regular contributor of opinion essays for various newspapers including the Austin American-Statesman, Dallas Morning News, El Paso News, Houston Chronicle, and San Antonio Express-News, and also writes a monthly column for ¡Ahora Sí!, the Spanish-language newspaper of the Austin American-Statesman. Earlier this year, he received the Cesar Estrada Chavez Award from the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity for his leadership in support of workers’ rights and humanitarian issues.

Sáenz is working with co-author Maria Cristina Morales of the University of Texas at El Paso on a second edition of their acclaimed 2015 book "Latinos in the United States: Diversity and Change” (Polity, UK). Additionally, he is writing another book, “The Color of Class: What the Declining Fortunes of Working-Class Whites Tells Us About Race” (Routledge, New York), which examines the societal predicament of working-class whites in comparison to working-class African Americans and Latinos in the United States. With two book contracts in hand and other exciting research projects getting started, Sáenz plans to dedicate his full effort to his scholarship as a professor in the Department of Demography.

“Dr. Saenz is a well-recognized, accomplished scholar, and I am not surprised his work is in high demand,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy. “I am incredibly grateful to him for his leadership and service to UTSA. Through the many outreach and programming initiatives he has led, Rogelio has been extremely effective in both raising the profile of the College of Public Policy and building a thriving community of public servants and advocates among its more than 1,400 students and 4,000 alumni.”

Transition planning will begin immediately and will culminate in the initiation of a national search for a new leader. 

Prior to joining UTSA in 2011, Sáenz had been a faculty member at Texas A&M University since 1986, additionally serving as head of the Department of Sociology from 1997 to 2005, and College of Liberal Arts Cornerstone Faculty Fellow from 2008 to 2011. He earned Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in sociology from Iowa State University and a bachelor's degree in social work from Pan American University (now University of Texas Rio Grande Valley).

In 2016, he was appointed by UTSA as the inaugural holder of the Mark G. Yudof College of Public Policy Dean’s Endowed Professorship in recognition of academic distinction, leadership and professional service.

“I have been grateful for the opportunity to serve as dean and proud of what we have accomplished as a college,” said Sáenz. “UTSA is such a special university and, with our demographics and strong connection to the city of San Antonio, we truly have the opportunity to serve as a model university representing the future of our country. I’m excited to be a part of that as a faculty member and also to continue my own policy research.”

Located at the UTSA Downtown Campus, the College of Public Policy offers undergraduate programs in criminal justice and public administration and graduate programs in applied demography, criminal justice and criminology, pubic administration and social work. The Center for Policy Studies and the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research are housed within the college. 

Rebecca Luther

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