AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Victoria Rodriguez, associate professor in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, has been appointed vice provost at The University of Texas at Austin.
Rodriguez has been delegated several key areas of responsibility in her new role, including advancement of the University president’s Latin American initiative, faculty recruiting and hiring, and the K-12 initiative.
UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner has said in recent speeches that he places a high priority on strengthening Latin American studies on campus as well as strengthening UT Austin’s ties with Latin American countries.
Rodriguez said her vision as a vice-provost is to concentrate the efforts in four countries at this time — Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
“I’d like to establish a regular exchange program where faculty from institutions in these four countries will come to work at UT Austin to use our many resources, particularly our libraries, and to provide an opportunity for our faculty to collaborate with them,” Rodriguez said. “The other important element I want emphasize is improving the exchange of students, particularly graduate students working in Latin American studies, so they will have an institutional base through these formalized exchange programs.”
Rodriguez said she also would like to bring together all the programs on Latin America that already exist on campus, including programs from disciplinary areas such as business, law, engineering and the sciences.
Regarding her responsibility for faculty hiring, Rodriguez said her goal is to increase the size and diversity of the faculty through the recruitment process.
She noted that in working on the K-12 initiative, she will be involved with 248 outreach programs at UT Austin that relate to the education of children from kindergarten through 12th grade.
UT Austin Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson said he is delighted Rodriguez is joining the provost’s office.
“When we started talking about ways to advance the Latin American initiative and who might be good on campus to do that, the name that rose to the top most often and almost without exception, was Professor Rodriguez. It was an easy decision to ask Victoria. She is a superb colleague, ” Ekland-Olson said.
Rodriguez received her bachelor of arts degree from the Tecnolgico de Monterrey (ITESM); her masters degree from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. Her post doctorate experience included a president’s fellowship at the University of California, and visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. Prior to her appointment to the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 1991, she taught political science at UTEP. Her current work includes a path-breaking research project on women in contemporary Mexican politics, which includes Women’s Participation in Mexican Political Life (1998) and a forthcoming volume on Women in Contemporary Mexican Politics.
Since joining UT Austin she has co-directed with Peter M. Ward a major National Science Foundation research project on opposition governments and politics in Mexico, on which she is co-author of three books and a number of articles. Their latest study is of State Government and New Federalism in Mexico (1999).
Among her other principal works are Decentralization in Mexico: From Reforma Municipal to Solidaridad to Nuevo Federalismo (1997), the revised edition in Spanish of which Descentralizacin en México was published in Mexico by the Fondo de Cultura Ecónomica in 2000,
In 1993-94, she served as a consultant for the World Bank on a project on decentralization and regional development in Mexico.