TIME magazine has named President Diana Natalicio of The University of Texas at El Paso to the 2016 TIME 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The full list and related tributes will appear in theMay 2 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, April 22, and now at time.com/time100
The list, now in its 13th year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.
President Natalicio is recognized in the TIME 100 “Leaders” category among 31 global icons including U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
As TIME Editor Nancy Gibbs has said of the list, “The TIME 100 is a list of the world’s most influential men and women, not its most powerful, though those are not mutually exclusive terms. While power is certain, influence is subtle. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year, we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow, so we can look around the corner to see what is coming.”
UTEP’s leader for 28 years, and the longest-serving president of a U.S. public research university, President Natalicio has guided the transformation of The University of Texas at El Paso into a national model for educating a 21st century student population.
Recognizing the critical importance of pre-college preparation to students’ enrollment and success at UTEP, she has been a driving force in creating community partnerships to raise the aspirations and educational attainment of all young people in the Paso del Norte region and, through a deep commitment to both access and excellence, to provide them authentic and stimulating educational opportunities.
She is a leading voice in the national conversation on higher education, and an advocate for reaching past borders to develop robust international collaborations.
“I am both humbled and deeply honored to have been named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world,” President Natalicio said. “The work that I have done would not have been possible without the creativity and courage of UTEP faculty and staff, the high aspirations and hard work of our talented students, and the support of our many alumni and friends, all of whom have enabled UTEP to successfully combine academic and research excellence with genuine access and equity. The only doctoral/research university in the United States that serves a predominantly Mexican-American student population, UTEP is known for successfully developing innovative strategies that level the playing field for students from historically underrepresented cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. This 2016 TIME 100 recognition shines a spotlight on the capacity of urban and minority-serving universities to increase both undergraduate and graduate student success in U.S. higher education. I am grateful to TIME for amplifying UTEP’s story and our leadership role.”
University of Texas System Board of Regents Chairman Paul L. Foster said, “President Natalicio’s impact on UT El Paso is immeasurable. She has spent more than four decades at this institution and has dedicated her life and her unparalleled talent and intellect toward its success. She has led some of the nation’s largest and most influential higher education organizations and committees and her opinion is sought after by policymakers, legislators and university leaders across the nation and beyond. That she is one of the world’s most influential people will come as no surprise to her peers around the nation, nor to her students and colleagues at UTEP and the UT System. We are thrilled that TIME is recognizing her for her extraordinary accomplishments.”
University of Texas System Chancellor William H. McRaven said, “I could not be more proud of President Natalicio for this much-deserved distinction. ‘Influential’ is the perfect word to describe a career educator and there is no doubt that President Natalicio’s life work has opened up a world of limitless possibilities for thousands upon thousands of students.
President Natalicio is a national leader in higher education, particularly for her work with first-generation college students, and her innovative approaches have been replicated with great success across the country. She models leadership and dedication, and I applaud TIME for recognizing her remarkable contributions.”
Dr. Natalicio became President of UTEP in 1988, and under her leadership UTEP has developed an innovative public research university model that fosters the educational success of historically underrepresented students, especially those from low-income backgrounds.
UTEP’s enrollment has grown from 14,971 to 23,500 students and now mirrors the demographics of the surrounding region, from which 90 percent of them come, and a majority of them are from low-income backgrounds and first in their families to attend college. UTEP’s annual research expenditures have grown from $6 million to more than $90 million per year, and doctoral programs increased from one to 20 during this same period.