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UTSA President Ricardo Romo Receives Prestigious UC Berkeley Higher Education Leadership Award

RRomo3850Ricardo Romo, president of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), received the prestigious 2013 Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education from the University of California, Berkeley, on March 14 at the Berkeley campus.

The award was created in 1968 as a tribute to the leadership and legacy of UC President Emeritus Clark Kerr. It recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary and distinguished contributions to the advancement of higher education.

In a statement from the UC Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate, Romo was praised for his record of extraordinary achievement in institutional leadership that reflects Kerr’s vision for the role of the university in American democracy. Romo was commended for extraordinary success in promoting higher education as a model for recently founded American universities, especially those serving minority communities.

In 13 years as president of UTSA, Romo has led in transforming the institution from the status of a local and mainly undergraduate-serving institution to that of a highly competitive general campus with an array of respected professional and doctoral programs. UTSA is well on its way to achieving Tier One status with a new focus on research and academic excellence, as it attracts new talent and partners with local, regional, national and international organizations.

With more than 30,000 students, including nearly 1,800 international students from more than 85 countries, UTSA now has 24 doctoral programs and supports educational programs and joint research activities in Texas and many countries around the world. Under Romo’s leadership, the university has partnered with public-sector and private-sector programs and organizations, building strong support for studies in the liberal and fine arts and science and technology.

In prominent recognition of its rising reputation and achievements under Romo’s leadership, UTSA was one of seven North American universities founded within the last 50 years that were named in the 2012 Times Higher Education’s “World’s 400 Best.”

A pioneering scholar in the development of the research field of U.S. urban-immigration and ethnic history, Romo is author of “East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio,” now in its ninth printing (one in Spanish), and of respected scholarly articles on the civil rights movement in the Southwest and the West. He has served on numerous national and regional educational commissions, most recently on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

With a strong commitment to community service, Romo has served on a range of regional, national and international boards. He is vice chair of the Southwest Research Institute board and is a member of the boards of the American Council on Education, Philosophical Society of Texas, Humanities Texas, Austin Museum of Art and COMEXUS (the U.S.-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange).

In 2007, Spain’s King Juan Carlos awarded Romo the Isabel la Catolica Award, the highest honor given to non-Spanish subjects, in recognition of his contributions to advancement of Hispanic culture in the United States. In 2011, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) named him winner of its Chief Executive Leadership Award, recognizing the rapid transformation of UTSA from a regional campus into an emerging Tier One research university.

Previous winners of the Clark Kerr Award include Nobel Prize laureate Yuan Tseh Lee, researcher in manipulation of chemical reactions using crossed molecular beams; nuclear physicist Herbert Frank York, Berkeley professor and chancellor, member of the Manhattan Project and board member of the nonpartisan arms control organization Council for a Livable World; Lee Carroll Bollinger, educator and legal scholar of the First Amendment and freedom of speech, who was at the center of two notable U.S. Supreme Court cases on the use of affirmative action in admissions processes; and Earl Warren, 14th U.S. chief justice, known for landmark decisions ending school segregation and transforming many areas of American law regarding the rights of the accused, ending school-sponsored prayer and requiring “one-man-one-vote” rules of apportionment.

About Christi.Fish

I am the associate director of media relations at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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