AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin and the government of Mexico have renewed and expanded an agreement that will deepen academic relations between the two. UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves and UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven welcomed top Mexican officials to campus Thursday to sign the agreement.
The Matías Romero Agreement was originally signed in 2002 by then-UT Austin President Larry Faulkner and Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jorge Castañeda. It is administered by UT’s LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections (LLILAS Benson). For more than a decade, the agreement has supported travel by Mexican social sciences, humanities and legal scholars to the UT Austin campus to carry out research at the Benson Latin American Collection and to teach at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS).
Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade Kuribreña and President Fenves have expanded the agreement, establishing grants to fund short-term visits by Mexican scholars to pursue research and collaboration at UT Austin. It will provide key support in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) where dynamic areas of research, teaching and student exchange between the university and Mexico are on the rise.
“I am excited to welcome this distinguished delegation from Mexico to UT Austin,” said Fenves. “Texas and Mexico share a border more than 1,200 miles long, and our pasts and our futures are tied together at the deepest level. As the state’s flagship university, we look forward to expanding our collaboration with Mexican institutions on a wide variety of educational and research initiatives. I welcome these discussions with Secretary Meade and our other distinguished visitors.”
Fenves and Meade formally signed the amended agreement at a meeting on campus on Thursday, July 9.
“The amendment strikes an ideal balance, reflecting the strategic interests of educational collaboration both of UT and of our Mexican counterparts,” noted LLILAS Benson director Charles Hale, a professor of anthropology at UT Austin. “Strengthened relations of horizontal academic collaboration between the UT System and Mexican institutions of higher education are vital and will also encourage advancements in other realms of Texas–Mexico relations.”
Remarking on the depth of ties between UT and Mexico, Consul General of Mexico Carlos González Gutiérrez emphasized both economic and social connections: “UT has been the driver of economic growth in Austin and is the alma mater of thousands of Mexicans. It is only natural that in visiting Austin, Secretary Meade would give a high priority to this meeting with Chancellor McRaven and President Fenves.”
Con @billmcraven y @gregfenves de la U de Texas discutimos proyectos de cooperación académica. pic.twitter.com/MNmXJBNMGH
— José Antonio Meade🇲🇽 (@JoseAMeadeK) July 10, 2015