Cigarroa set for Valley visit today - Valley Morning Star : Local News

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Cigarroa set for Valley visit today

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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 12:15 am

HARLINGEN — University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa is in the Harlingen area today to talk more about plans for a new university.

A press release from UT System Public Affairs says Cigarroa will continue discussions about plans to combine the University of Texas at Brownsville, the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen, and the University of Texas Pan-American in Edinburg into one large university that would include a medical school.

UT System Board of Regents Vice Chairman Gene Powell and Regent Ernest Aliseda will accompany him.

The group will meet this morning with students and teachers at Lyford High School. This afternoon they will meet with community leaders at the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen. While there, Powell and Aliseda will present a check for $196 million to Project South Texas, the official name of the initiative to establish a new university and medical school in the Valley.

Powell and Aliseda will present the check to UT Brownsville President Juliet Garcia and UT Pan American President Robert Nelsen at 3:15 p.m. in the lobby of the RAHC.

“The $196 million will come from the Permanent University Fund and represents the first time in history that PUF support will go to South Texas for new construction,” the release says. “Regents approved the funding Nov. 14 for new science and academic medical buildings in Edinburg and an academic building in Brownsville.”

The release says the new university and medical school will combine the resources of all three institutions. Classes in the new Valleywide university are expected to begin in the fall of 2015.

“A campaign is currently under way to seek community input on the new name of the institution, and a search advisory committee is recruiting and reviewing candidates to serve as president of the new university,” the release states.

PUF funds come from state oil and gas revenues from West Texas lands.

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