UTEP president celebrates 30 year anniversary

Dr. Diana Natalicio is the longest serving president of a public university. She has been President of UTEP since 1988.

Over the past 30 years, The University of Texas at El Paso has seen many changes -- but one thing has stayed the same.

This year, Dr. Diana Natalicio celebrates her 30th year as president of the university.

“Well, I always have big visions of what we are going to do and I got big plans of what we are going to be doing in the future,” Natalicio said.

The UTEP president's plans have often come true. Natalicio is currently working towards making UTEP a tier one university.

“We are a different university in terms of programs. We have 22 doctoral programs now, we had one back then. We had 14,500 students; now we have 25,000-plus, so we are growing very fast,” Natalicio said.

“She serves as a role model for me to want to aspire to keep going and to keep being innovative in my degree and in the STEM degree as well,” said UTEP freshman Victoria Azcarate.

Natalicio says the past three decades have not been easy, but they have been very rewarding.

Just this year, there are many projects and changes that Natalicio says will contribute to the overall growth of the university.

Some include the acquisition of the old Asarco land, the upcoming completion of a new research building and of course the new era of UTEP athletics.

“This year hasn’t been a great year, but we have had many, many great years and I think what people don’t realize is that everybody goes through peaks and valleys in athletic programs,” Natalicio said.

Overall, she says the time she has spent at UTEP has been rewarding.

When asked about how much longer she will be at UTEP, she says only time will tell.

“Every day to me is exciting. I think we are having an impact and that makes me feel happy so as long as those conditions are met I think I will keep at it for a while,” Natalicio said.

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