New RGV university set to become reality

Yesterday (March 19), the Texas House of Representatives voted unanimously to fund a new University of Texas institution in the Valley, including a state-of-the-art research facility and medical school.

The House voted after a March 13 vote by the Texas Senate to pass Senate Bill 24 to create a new university comprised of UT-Pan American in Edinburg, UT-Brownsville and the UT Health Science Center at the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen. The health center is designated to become a medical school.

Senate Bill 24 is a companion to the House Bill 1000, which received a House vote of 149-0.

“By our vote, we place South Texas on the path to establishing a Tier One university for the 21st Century, with state-of-the-art facilities, top-notch faculty, and the future medical school,” said Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.

The university was also called a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to “transform the Valley into a future center for multinational culture, science, and commerce,” according to Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa.

The bill is authored by senators Lucio (D-Brownsville), Hinojosa (D-McAllen), Judith Zaffririni (D-Laredo), and Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo). Sixteen other senators have joined the bill as coauthors.

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