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Statement from the UTEP Faculty Senate

September 24, 2021


Dear colleagues,

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that Dr. Diana Natalicio, former University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) President has died.  She served as a great leader of our university for thirty-one years and represented UTEP in our region, at the state and national levels with much pride and honor. Dr. Natalicio was recognized as one of the nation’s most influential leaders by Time Magazine in 2016 and was designated by Fortune’s Magazine’s as one of the top 50 World Leaders. In 2019, Dr. Natalicio was inducted in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Hall of Champions for taking UTEP into the Carnegie RI University designation. She served as a Rockefeller Foundation and National Science Boards.  She was recognized by the President of Mexico with the Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca for her commitment to access and excellence. Most of all, she led by example, while acknowledging the contributions and successes of UTEP faculty, staff, and students in every award and recognition she received.  She served as a faculty in the Department of Languages and Linguistics, as Dean of Liberal Arts, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and began her presidency from 1988 to 2019.  Dr. Natalicio will be remembered for having the courage to advocate to create opportunities for our students, for building strategic partnerships and alliances with our local schools and El Paso Community College, and for being a great mentor and an inspiration for many students, faculty, staff, and leaders in higher education.  Those who knew her, will know she loved baseball and looked forward to enjoying many games during her retirement.  As a leader, she was known for sending personalized notes to acknowledge and thank people for their contributions.  As a leading female figure in higher education, Dr. Natalicio was admired for stepping up to the plate for so many of us as she created pathways and opportunities for us to be leaders in the service of others.  

On behalf of the UTEP faculty and members of the Miner Nation who served under her leadership, we express our sincere condolences to her family and her friends. She will be greatly missed. We commit to honor her memory and her vision of UTEP’s mission of access and excellence. Descanse en Paz Dra. Natalicio.

Guillermina Gina Núñez-Mchiri
UTEP Faculty Senate President
Go Miners!