UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio and other UTEP representatives hosted a celebration for students and faculty in honor of UTEP reaching the top tier R1 designation.
That means the university is a doctoral university with very high research actvity from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
UTEP is now one of only 130 (4.5%) top tier universities among the 2,883 four-year education institutions in the United States to earn the prestigious R1 designation.
“I think it’s important to celebrate with students, faculty and staff because nobody does anything alone this is a joint effort, collective effort, we all contributed in one way or another so we should all celebrate the accomplishment,” Natalicio said.
Natalicio said it of course benefits the students but also the community of El Paso.
“We’re seeing the beginnings of small, new economic development nuclei, so these are seeds that we’re planting and businesses will grow around them,” Natalicio said.
Students were also very excited about the newly appointed status. Christian Botello, the President of the Student Government Association said this will provide more opportunities to students.
“Being an RI institution is a big deal so no we are competing with Yale, MIT, that are all in the same classification,” Botello said. “When they go out and look for opportunities or apply for jobs or internships or whatever it is, they’re now going to have that even more competitive edge with this recognition.”
In addition to the various celebrations across campus, the “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at the University Avenue roundabout will be illimunated Tuesday evening in blue and orange in honor of UTEP’s R1 designation.