El Paso legislators say UTEP is top priority

Full story: El Paso Times

The El Paso delegation to Austin on Monday decided that making UTEP a top research university will be its biggest priority for the 2009 legislative session, a move that, if approved, may mean millions of ...
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1 - 16 of 16 Comments Last updated Jan 11, 2009
Just the facts

Houston, TX

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#1
Jan 6, 2009
 
Here we go again. Tier-one is now being conveniently defined in terms of "research" expenditures. But let us examine UTEP's research expenditures more closely and it will be found that a large percentage -- and I am willing to guess at least 75%-- comes in the form of either set-aside funding (funding for which not all institutions are eligible to compete for) or undergraduate education funding. This is not the same "research" expenditures that tier-one institutions like UT Austin, Texas A&M, Harvard, Stanford, etc quote in their reports. Only the politicians and administrators at UTEP seem not to understand the difference.

UTEP has a future -- yes, but it can never become a truly tier-1 institution under the current administration. It is impossible. There are at least two main reasons why the dream is impossible, and everything point to the weak administration.
1.- UTEP has the lowest graduation rates for undergraduate students in the system. FOur year graduation rates have been at 2, 3 or 4% for the past 20 years and they are not changing. One would think that UTEP's president and Mr Adauto would be more interested in resolving these issues before aspiring to be Tier-1. These graduation rates are dismal. Just imagine: out of every 100 students who enter UTEP as freshmen, only 3 will graduate. What happens to the other 97? These extremely poor graduation rates occur in spite of the hundreds of millions that the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, NASA, etc have poured on UTEP to help students graduate. But the current administration, after more than 20 years in power, is unwilling or unable to change this.

2.- The President's record of research and funding is the weakest around. Yes, she has a long list of research projects under her name but only because the system works that way. Faculty do all the work and at the end the proposals go out wiht her name as Director on them. But examine her and other top administrators' publication records in top journals and you will find just how weak her record is. Other tier-1 institutions have Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Deans and Chairs of departments who are top scientists and bring in large quantities of true research funds. You may want to look for Dr Aaron Segal's letters of a few years back on UTEP expenditures. These writings portrayed the true state of affairs at UTEP. He was heavily penalized by the current administration for expressing his views on the state of affairs at UTEP. You may also want to examine the publication records of current Deans and chairs and past deans and vicepresidents (Bristol, Riter) to find extremely weak researchers.

Mr Shapleigh, and other politicians, would your efforts not be better spent in trying to effect positive change at UTEP by working towards a change of administration? You would be doing UTEP and El Paso a much needed service. You come across as naive and ill-informed when you start voicing the same rhetoric that UTEP feeds you. To be effective you need to be informed and truthful.
Duke City Kid

Albuquerque, NM

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#3
Jan 6, 2009
 
Just the facts wrote:
2.-... President's record of research and funding is the weakest around. Yes, she has a long list of research projects under her name but only because the system works that way. Faculty do all the work and at the end the proposals go out wiht her name as Director on them. But examine her and other top administrators' publication records in top journals and you will find just how weak her record is. Other tier-1 institutions have Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Deans and Chairs of departments who are top scientists and bring in large quantities of true research funds. You may want to look for Dr Aaron Segal's letters of a few years back on UTEP expenditures. These writings portrayed the true state of affairs at UTEP. He was heavily penalized by the current administration for expressing his views on the state of affairs at UTEP. You may also want to examine the publication records of current Deans and chairs and past deans and vicepresidents (Bristol, Riter) to find extremely weak researchers.
...
You are absolutely correct. You forgot to mention the current provost (Richard Jarvis). He has axed a number of faculty members for not being top-tier researchers, yet his own scholarship record is dismal at best. Google his name to find his CV and you will see that he has not published in years.
The Whole Truth

El Paso, TX

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#4
Jan 6, 2009
 
Get Real, "Just the Facts"
1. Until there is a plan, and that means taxpayer money, which will allow students to go to school for 4 un-interrupted years, there will be few 4 year graduates at UTEP. The economy and societal norms simply do not allow that in this region. I find it admirable that students are willing to work in order to go to school, even if it extends the number of semesters they have to stay on campus. UTEP is NOT DUKE Univeristy; these young people have to WORK for what they get, and most work very hard. The administration is fully aware of this and they work with what they are given in order to address the issue and provide education for all that are admitted.
2. Could more research be done at UTEP? More research can always be done, no matter where you are. Who provides the initiative for the professors-the chairs. Who provides the initiatives for the Chairs-the Deans. Who drives the Deans-the Provost. Who drives the Provost-the academic silo of the university, not the administrative silo. Every type of person listed above is responsible for their own area of 'inspiration'. If Chairs, Deans and Professors don't do their part, they should be penalized; but don't forget how hard it is to penalize anyone in a state agency-you need a team of lawyers to do that.

Another item factors in with this discussion: Admissions.

If you have a school that admits over 97% of applicants, even admitting those that need 'remedial' coursework, you won't get the graduation rates even if those people are motivated and work 2 jobs to get through school. They simply don't have what it takes to make it through a 4 year university. Some should stay at community colleges and learn a trade.

Let's look at this from these three points:
1. Raise admission standards so that only those who can graduate will be allowed to attend. Those who cannot, will not be allowed to deprecate the graduation rates.(oops-but there goes affordable education for ALL)
2. Increase taxpayer input into the university so that those who are admitted under the more stringent standards have the funding to graduate within 4 years.(oops-but here comes an economic drain on the local population who already has a lower median income than the rest of the state)
3. Weed out the academic arm of the university that is not producing teaching and research 'results' and replace them with high quality motivated talent.(oops-but there goes affordability again, as that talent costs MONEY in the form of salaries)

This issue is not just Administrative in nature, it is Academic and Economic. Pointing fingers at one area without realizing the whole landscape of factors is purile.
Levi Sanchez

San Antonio, TX

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#5
Jan 6, 2009
 
The problem with UTEP is that Natalicio's main objective is to educate wealth Mexican Nationals from the Juarez side. She has no interest in helping El Pasoans, even if your hispanic in El Paso, born on US Soil, UTEP will always cater to the other side of the border. They need to get rid of her and her fresas cronies and get a real Fair and ethical University President who has the heart, prosperity and advancement of El Paso in their vision. That is why people leave El Paso low paying jobs and a school that caters to Juarez.

Since: Jan 09

Bellevue, WA

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#6
Jan 6, 2009
 
La verdad wrote:
UTEP has Rockafeller (banker) tentacles on it. Look it up!
WHY IS EPT DELETING MY BLOGS. Don't they believe in free speech. I don't use profanity, I am respectful, and I do my research well. Yet vulgar, profane or pro Judeo-Israel blogs are posted.
Is it because they are Pro Israel in its anti-Christ state. I have been exposing the fact that Jesus fought these Zionists (called Pharisees at the time) and wanted them to leave Israel UNTIL they renounce their racist/satanic Judaic religion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =C7L7cJJ9Wc8XX Jesus was right!!! EPT is wrong.
Why can't I expose their racism and Murder!! FACTS:
-It is against the law to Marry a non Jew in Israel. Talmud says only Jews have souls. How could they marry us animals?
-Boobie trapped toys are set to kill Palestinian children.
-Talmud says all property is common property for the first Jew that can take it through deception or trickery.
-All of the top Intl. Bankers (Banksters) are Judaic and have followed the Talmud well, since most of the Natl. Debt is owed to them. http://video.google.com/videoplay... (Russo is a good non-Judaic Jew)
-"Make war by trickery/deceit whenever possible."ZOHAR says
-Israel Law: 5 yrs. jail time for passing christian info.
-All non Jews (gentiles) to be killed or lead to death by deceptive methods. Talmud says. ETC....ETC...
Democrats and Republicans are just puppets to these Judiac Bankers. Through their Corporate Mafias they steal everything. http://video.google.com/videoplay...
They even stage attacks (killing us) to blame it on their enemies and trick us to fight for them! http://www.youtube.com/watch... part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Heres a long version for the more intellectual: http://video.google.com/videoplay...
TELL THE EL PASO TIMES TO STOP CENSORING ME. I AM ONLY GIVING YOU THE TRUTH. IN THE 2 WEEKS I'VE BEEN DOING THIS, SOMEONE BROKE 2 WINDOWS IN MY BUSINESS. I WILL DOUBLE MY EFFORTS. I WILL DEBATE ANYONE!!! Jesus was right when he tried to help the Jews out of these Satanic Judaic Religions. He was trying to help them be better, just as I am. No Hate all TOUGH LOVE.
What are you smoking?

Since: Jan 09

Bellevue, WA

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#7
Jan 6, 2009
 
The Whole Truth wrote:
Get Real, "Just the Facts"
1. Until there is a plan, and that means taxpayer money, which will allow students to go to school for 4 un-interrupted years, there will be few 4 year graduates at UTEP. The economy and societal norms simply do not allow that in this region. I find it admirable that students are willing to work in order to go to school, even if it extends the number of semesters they have to stay on campus. UTEP is NOT DUKE Univeristy; these young people have to WORK for what they get, and most work very hard. The administration is fully aware of this and they work with what they are given in order to address the issue and provide education for all that are admitted.
2. Could more research be done at UTEP? More research can always be done, no matter where you are. Who provides the initiative for the professors-the chairs. Who provides the initiatives for the Chairs-the Deans. Who drives the Deans-the Provost. Who drives the Provost-the academic silo of the university, not the administrative silo. Every type of person listed above is responsible for their own area of 'inspiration'. If Chairs, Deans and Professors don't do their part, they should be penalized; but don't forget how hard it is to penalize anyone in a state agency-you need a team of lawyers to do that.
Another item factors in with this discussion: Admissions.
If you have a school that admits over 97% of applicants, even admitting those that need 'remedial' coursework, you won't get the graduation rates even if those people are motivated and work 2 jobs to get through school. They simply don't have what it takes to make it through a 4 year university. Some should stay at community colleges and learn a trade.
Let's look at this from these three points:
1. Raise admission standards so that only those who can graduate will be allowed to attend. Those who cannot, will not be allowed to deprecate the graduation rates.(oops-but there goes affordable education for ALL)
2. Increase taxpayer input into the university so that those who are admitted under the more stringent standards have the funding to graduate within 4 years.(oops-but here comes an economic drain on the local population who already has a lower median income than the rest of the state)
3. Weed out the academic arm of the university that is not producing teaching and research 'results' and replace them with high quality motivated talent.(oops-but there goes affordability again, as that talent costs MONEY in the form of salaries)
This issue is not just Administrative in nature, it is Academic and Economic. Pointing fingers at one area without realizing the whole landscape of factors is purile.
I have to agree with you. UTEP is not going to be Duke however they can make it into a good state school. Your point of accepting 97% of their college applicants is not only hurting the university but also hurting those students who are above remedial level. Also, there needs to be more research done at the university it does not matter the program. There are several bright students at UTEP who end up leaving because there is no reason to stay. So, what happens they pack up and leave and go do research else where. However, with that said there are some pretty good research programs at UTEP. I just wish there was more funding for those programs.
The Whole Truth

El Paso, TX

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#9
Jan 6, 2009
 
gray sky wrote:
<quoted text>
I have to agree with you. UTEP is not going to be Duke however they can make it into a good state school. Your point of accepting 97% of their college applicants is not only hurting the university but also hurting those students who are above remedial level. Also, there needs to be more research done at the university it does not matter the program. There are several bright students at UTEP who end up leaving because there is no reason to stay. So, what happens they pack up and leave and go do research else where. However, with that said there are some pretty good research programs at UTEP. I just wish there was more funding for those programs.
I agree with "gray sky". I know several bright graduate students who have left UTEP to go out of state or to UT Austin because UTEP was simply not challenging them.
Duke City Kid

Albuquerque, NM

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#10
Jan 6, 2009
 
An interesting arcane response - perhaps coming from one of the administrators listed previously?
The Whole Truth wrote:
Get Real, "Just the Facts"
1. Until there is a plan, and that means taxpayer money, which will allow students to go to school for 4 un-interrupted years, there will be few 4 year graduates at UTEP. The economy and societal norms simply do not allow that in this region.
You failed to mention the significant increases in student tuition at UTEP. Students are footing the bill also. And what are they getting for their money? Larger classes with fewer intructors. Can you justify graduate classes with 40 or more students?
The Whole Truth wrote:

...Could more research be done at UTEP? More research can always be done, no matter where you are. Who provides the initiative for the professors-the chairs. Who provides the initiatives for the Chairs-the Deans. Who drives the Deans-the Provost. Who drives the Provost-the academic silo of the university, not the administrative silo...
So should the provost not be setting the example by having top-notch (Tier 1) research credentials?
The Whole Truth wrote:
Admissions.
If you have a school that admits over 97% of applicants, even admitting those that need 'remedial' coursework, you won't get the graduation rates even if those people are motivated and work 2 jobs to get through school. They simply don't have what it takes to make it through a 4 year university. Some should stay at community colleges and learn a trade.
I agree. Some of the UTEP students should go to a community college and learn a trade. However, school districts in El Paso county, in particular YISD, define student success as graduating from a 4 year college or university. Perhaps there needs to be another way for defining student success.
The Whole Truth wrote:
1. Raise admission standards so that only those who can graduate will be allowed to attend. Those who cannot, will not be allowed to deprecate the graduation rates.(oops-but there goes affordable education for ALL)
Admission standards should be based on the quality (competency) of students and the chance that they will succeed - not on having an opportunity to get an "education" that is affordable for ALL.
The Whole Truth wrote:
2. Increase taxpayer input into the university so that those who are admitted under the more stringent standards have the funding to graduate within 4 years.(oops-but here comes an economic drain on the local population who already has a lower median income than the rest of the state)
Not true. The median income is lower for students attending UTB and UT Pan American. Besides, the median income for El Paso is increasing with the large number of military troops coming to Ft. Bliss.

[QUOTE who="The Whole Truth]... Pointing fingers at one area without realizing the whole landscape of factors is purile.[/QUOTE]

"Purile" Interesting word choice. I have only seen this word used by someone who speaks the Queen's English. Hmmm...
BTW, the miners are playing at UNM tonight. GO LOBOS!
GentleCynic

United States

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#12
Jan 6, 2009
 
La Verdad wrote:
Proof that my blogs are being erased. I had one here and GRAY SKY's critique is all that's left from it. Yet his response proves that my blog existed because it is shown prior to his response to it.


Hey, La Verdad, are you a UTEP graduate? Your "post" had nothing to do with what the article is about.
buddy

El Paso, TX

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#13
Jan 6, 2009
 
I am a current UTEP student and believe the university has the ability to become tier-one but it would have to do so without Dr. Natalicio and Elliot Shapleigh. These two individuals are the worse thing to happen to the university. The two individuals care more about money and business than what needs to be done for the students to become tier-one. The hiring of professors without Phds or can careless about the students should not be teaching at the college level. The university is also highly understaffed leaving much of the work to students. Students who hold jobs where UTEP employees are neccessary such as record or transcripts should not be allowed. those students do not care if a mix-up of grades or careless mistakes happen. To make the school a tier-one there is much more internal work needed, money is not simply the answer to all. Most of all there are not enough degree plans as there are in many universities below UTEP and there is a wonder why students transfer to other schools out of El Paso. Some other issues that favor the university and not students are: tuition hikes (which continue to rise every year if not semester, parking - there no longer is parking in the streets that students who work and pay for with their tax dollars near UTEP anymore the city has come together with UTEP and posted no parking signs around the "historic" district of UTEP, where the students now have to pay for parking with outrageous walks or long waits. The metro is no longer useful while it drops a student off on the edges of campus rather than inside campus as they did before. So in order to become "tier-one" we should focus on the blodd of a university - the Students - before the blood runs dry.
GentleCynic

United States

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#14
Jan 6, 2009
 
I had an opportunity to visit the UTEP campus a couple of months ago, and I found it extremely depressing. Now, finding out that only about three of one hundred graduate in four years is even more depressing. When I was on the campus, all I could think of was "escuela secundaria". The default language on campus must be Spanish, because that is all I heard. Further, I've seen evidence over the past few years that even four-year graduates from UTEP cannot write meaninful sentences, much less meaningful paragraphs. This "excuse" that UTEP can't graduate students in four years because many have to work is hooey. I worked at least 32 hours a week all through my undergraduate program and graduated in four years. It can be done if there is motivation to do it. My suggestion is to raise admission standards so that only those who have the capacity to complete the program will be admitted. The rest should go to either trade school or to EPCC.
Chris Chavez

El Paso, TX

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#16
Jan 6, 2009
 
I transferred from UT-Austin to attend UTEP for various reasons. I can tell you that UTEP doesnt rate to listed as a tier one school. The majority of the students in my class pass their courses by obtaining test banks, old exams and cheating. The sad part is most professors know this and still dont do anything about it. Whats even more depressing is the fact that is still has a low graduation rate!!! The students in austin seek to be challenge and treat school as a profession rather than a chore. You see the difference not only in the caliber of student but also professors. I think UTEP needs to clean up its academic enviornment before it even thinks about TRYING to associate itself with tier one status!
Darn it Janet

El Paso, TX

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#17
Jan 6, 2009
 
buddy wrote:
The university is also highly understaffed leaving much of the work to students. Students who hold jobs where UTEP employees are neccessary such as record or transcripts should not be allowed. Those students do not care if a mix-up of grades or careless mistakes happen. To make the school a tier-one there is much more internal work needed, money is not simply the answer to all.
I agree with at least one of your points-the university is grossly understaffed from an infrastructure standpoint.
These are two things that I have observed:
1. Student employees are filling some positions which should either be held by accountable state employees or more closely supervised by UTEP full time regular employees. In some cases, where they are supposedly 'supervised', their managers don't check their work for gross errors (and I mean really big errors like dates, names, phone numbers, current Deans/department heads and email addresses being wrong-and lets talk about lost records and mix ups with things like student insurance). I believe that students need on the job training and real world experience, therefore student employees are a GREAT IDEA (I have three different student jobs going through my undergrad years), but not when everyone is so overloaded that the students can't be mentored correctly by competent staff. The bigger point with the last statement is that without proper mentoring, student employees learn little and have the potential for making rather large mistakes through no fault of their own.
2. Whereas there are many UTEP employees who work efficiently and accurately (a lot of them working unrecognized extra hours to do an exceptional job-I know several), there are some which can't wait for their lunch breaks and who are packed up at 4:30 and ready to bolt at 5:00. I'm not even counting the time some of them spend during the day watching YouTube or shopping online. I even heard one of them make the comment, at a social gathering, that their boss wouldn't fire them because their boss didn't have the guts.

There should be a higher level of accountability by the faculty and staff in order to support the students in a manner which they deserve. I wish there were a way to clean out state employees who are "on-the-job retired" and create a better balance between the number of full time and student employees.
shyminer

United States

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#18
Jan 6, 2009
 
UTEP has the potential why not embrace it?
FoolishMan

El Paso, TX

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#19
Jan 8, 2009
 
You haven't interacted with the students have you? When you can graduate and not write in complete sentences you have a problem in the education syste.
Newbie Miner

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#20
Jan 11, 2009
 
I've been associated with UTEP for a small amount of time, but I can tell you that their best students are among the most impressive you'll ever see -- as students AND people. But the vast majority of their students.....they're among the worst/ worst prepared I've seen, having been affiliated with several universities.

One can get a great education at UTEP if one is willing to work for it, but the high acceptance rates mean we're accepting people who think there's really no sense of urgency or accomplishment to getting into and doing well at college.

Sadly, as well, students don't really see the value or quality of an education they can get at UTEP. Yes, many do work, but many aren't quite up to snuff like they ought to be either.

What UTEP needs to do is drop the acceptance rate to 85% acceptance. We have decent community colleges in the area that can handle that 12% until they're ready to transfer in. UTEP also needs to adopt a plus/minus grading scale at the undergraduate level to better differentiate scores among students and really help the community see the cream of the crop. Then we need to do even more to make that risen cream visible to the nation.

UTEP can and should become a tier one institution. It has the talent and potential to reach that $100 million mark. It would be wonderful for Texas to have a tier 1 Hispanic Serving (but not cow-towing) institition and would help many other universities around the nation look to UTEP as a beacon of progress and forward thinking.

I think getting the designation, along with a few tweaks to undergraduate admission and grading policies, would help students know the pride they ought to have, and hopefully do more to be pro-active and honorable in the work they do on campus and beyond.

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