CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) awarded UTSA President Ricardo Romo the District IV distinguished E. Joseph Savoie Chief Executive Leadership Award at the 2011 FUSION Conference, Feb. 21.
This award recognizes university leaders for outstanding efforts in promoting and supporting education and institutional advancement.
Romo has served as UTSA’s president since May of 1999. During his tenure he has strategically improved the university’s stature in the community and has transformed UTSA into a promising prospect for becoming the next Tier 1 research university in Texas.
“I was very honored and flattered to be given this recognition,” Romo said. “I know that it’s a big region with a lot of really talented people.”
“This award really belongs to the many people at UTSA, staff and faculty who work so hard to make our campus one of the best campuses in the region and soon one of the best campuses in the state,” Romo said.
From the start of his career with UTSA, Romo has centered his efforts on enhancing the student experience and building a strong foundation to promote success.
Under Romo’s leadership UTSA’s student enrollment has increased nearly 50 percent, the physical presence of the campus has grown from two million to four million square feet, and the number of advisors has nearly tripled.
“Dr. Romo’s impact on UTSA in the 12 years he has been president has been profound,” John Frederick, provost and vice president for academic affairs said.
“He has been a visionary president and has significantly raised the positive trajectory of the university and pointing it toward Tier 1 status.”
Through the addition of numerous research initiatives, academic facilities, and campus life enhancements, Romo has worked to promote institutional advancement in a number of ways.
“I have served under 10 presidents in 40-plus years in academia and Dr. Romo is the best I have encountered in promoting team work and instilling a true passion for excellence,” Vice President for Research, Robert Gracy said. “[He] has guided this university through a tremendous metamorphosis in only a little over a decade. This doesn’t just happen – it takes real leadership.”
Gracy said Romo has and will continue to focus on what he considers the most important thing about UTSA – students.
“His profound leadership is what keeps our university moving in the right direction, which makes me proud to be a Roadrunner,” junior public relations major Ann-Margaret Gonzales said.
“It’s exciting to see that because of his efforts, UTSA is moving up,” junior education major Abigail Medina said. “This is yet another thing to add to our developing campus.”
A former student of Tier 1 research universities, UCLA and UT Austin, Romo earned a bachelor of arts in education from UT Austin, a master’s degree in history from Loyola Marymount University, and a Doctorate in history from UCLA. He is a widely-renowned urban historian and author of “East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio.”