UTEP Momentum: President Wilson Outlines University Successes in Annual State of the University Address
Last Updated on September 21, 2021 at 6:00 PM
Originally published September 21, 2021
By UC Staff
- UTEP endowment reaches $315 million; record $26 million raised in 2020-21
- Record number of new research grants awarded
- More than 300 student activities planned for fall semester
- UTEP expands advising to improve persistence to graduation
EL PASO, Texas (Sept. 21, 2021) - The University of Texas at El Paso President Heather Wilson detailed strong fundraising, a record number of sponsored research projects and healthy student engagement during her annual state of the university address at the 2021 Fall Convocation ceremony today.
Wilson described several examples of UTEP’s growing research portfolio.
“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 FY21:
- A record number of UTEP research proposals were funded, a nine percent increase over last 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 over 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.”
During her speech, Wilson announced major fundraising milestones:
- UTEP raised more than $26 million during FY2021 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 FY2021.
In the address, 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.
The enhanced holistic advising program is paid for in part with Federal aid. As part of the program:
- Every undergraduate student will have a dedicated professional advisor.
- Advisors will use a research-based model that works to increase student persistence.
“You may have noticed that there seems to be a lot more going on at UTEP this fall,” Wilson said. “You’re right; there is. 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.”
So far this academic year, student engagement has been the most active ever:
- Forty-eight 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.
- 22,000 people attended Minerpalooza, which also resulted in the highest amount raised by registered student clubs and organizations.
- UTEP Student Affairs is expecting the largest number of students to join a student organization in UTEP history.
The University of Texas at El Paso is America’s leading Hispanic-serving university. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 94% of our nearly 25,000 students are minorities, and half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 168 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top tier research university in America.