UTEP President Wilson outlines university’s successes in annual State of the University address


Photo courtesy of UTEP.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – University of Texas at El Paso’s President Heather Wilson spoke about successful fundraising, record numbers of sponsored research projects, and healthy student engagement on Tuesday during the state of the university address.

Wilson detailed several examples of UTEP’s growing research porfolio.

“UTEP is a public research university. We don’t just transmit knowledge; we create new knowledge,” Wilson said. “That’s why our strategic goal is to advance research, scholarship and artistic expression with emphasis on areas of current and emerging strength.”

The University broke several research records in the fiscal year of 2021:

  • A record number of UTEP research proposals were funded, resulting in a nine percent increase over the previous year.
  • For the second year in a row, UTEP set a record in grant proposals submitted by faculty, with 679 grant applications submitted over the past year.
  • The number of doctoral students at UTEP increased eight percent since last year’s numbers.
  • UTEP now has more than 800 Ph.D. students in 23 programs.

“This was an important year for advancement, even in a pandemic. We have restructured development and strengthened it to support our mission,” Wilson said. “It’s already starting to show results … Last year was one of the top three fundraising years in the history of UTEP – and possibly the top fundraising year ever.”

Wilson noted major fundraising milestones:

  • UTEP raised more than $26 million during fiscal year 2021 to support scholarships and fellowships, facilities and faculty.
  • Managed by The University of Texas Investment Management Company, UTEP’s endowment is now at a record $315 million.
  • UTEP received five seven-figure gifts in fiscal year 2021.

Wilson described new student-centric university initiatives targeting student success, including holistic advising and enhanced campus activities, designed to improve student persistence to graduation.

“Every student who persists to graduation at UTEP changes the course of a life, and the life of a family,” Wilson said.

As part of the program:

  • Every undergraduate student will have a dedicated advisor.
  • Advisors will use a research-based model that works to increase student persistence. 

Wilson also noted that the fall semester would be their most eventful yet.

“We have significantly increased activity on campus – everything from health fairs and student club sign-ups to pancake breakfasts, welcome receptions for graduate and international students, and dodgeball and archery games on the plaza,” said Wilson.

UTEP’s student engagement has planned on the following:

  • 48 events facilitated in the first 17 days of the semester and more than 300 events are planned for the fall semester alone.
  • More than 3,000 students participated in the inaugural Texas Western Gold Rush celebration.
  • 22,000 people attended Minerpalooza, which broke a record of the highest amount raised by registered student clubs and organizations.
  • UTEP Student Affairs is expecting the largest number of students in UTEP history to join a student organization this semester.

For all things UTEP, click here. For our complete coverage on higher education in El Paso, click here.

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