Carnegie Corporation of New York Honors UTEP President Among Four Higher Education Visionaries

UTEP President Diana Natalicio

EL PASO, Texas Carnegie Corporation of New York today announced that UTEP President Diana Natalicio is among the recipients of its prestigious 2015 Academic Leadership Award.

Four leaders of American universities are being recognized for demonstrating vision and outstanding commitment to excellence and equity in undergraduate education, in addition to fulfilling their administrative and managerial roles with dedication and creativity.

Each honoree’s institution will receive a grant of $500,000 to be used toward furthering the winner’s notable academic initiatives. The 2015 honorees are:

  • Diana Natalicio: President, The University of Texas at El Paso; El Paso, Texas
  • Ronald J. Daniels: President, Johns Hopkins University; Baltimore, Maryland
  • Patricia A. McGuire: President, Trinity Washington University; Washington, D.C.
  • C.L. Max Nikias: President, University of Southern California; Los Angeles, California

“I am deeply honored to receive the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 2015 Academic Leadership Award recognizing The University of Texas at El Paso’s accomplishments over the past quarter-century,” said President Natalicio, who is the longest-serving president of a public university in the nation. “This recognition serves as strong validation of the success of highly dedicated UTEP faculty and staff who have worked to provide both access and excellence to all young people who entrust us with their talents and aspirations.”

Diana Natalicio became President of The University of Texas at El Paso in 1988, and since then, has transformed a small, regional university for commuters into a national public research university. In the process, she has created a model for helping Hispanic students succeed. In a city where four out of five residents are Hispanic, President Natalicio has focused on access and affordability for students, most of whom are low-income and the first in their families to attend college.

The Academic Leadership Award was established in 2005 in honor of Andrew Carnegie’s commitment to education and the diffusion of knowledge as fundamental tools for building a strong society and democracy.

“The United States is blessed with thousands of universities and colleges that enrich our society and our democracy and prepare the next generation of specialists, leaders, and citizens,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “This award recognizes some exemplary leaders of those institutions, who embody the best qualities of leadership – not merely managerial skills, but institutional vision and an abiding commitment to high quality, diversity, curricular innovation, and investment in their communities.

The award, which is given every two years, recognizes exemplary university

presidents who display a commitment to the liberal arts, excellence and access, curricular innovation, the development of major interdisciplinary programs, reform of K-12 education, international engagement, and the promotion of strong links between their institutions and their local communities.

The Carnegie Corp. noted the following accomplishments in selecting President Natalicio for the award:

President Natalicio has:

  • Worked to make the university better reflect the region’s demographics by recruiting more Hispanic faculty members, currently about 36 percent overall, and created graduate programs that capitalize on UTEP’s proximity to Mexico such as a Ph.D. in U.S-Mexico Borderlands History.
  • Led in the formation of a partnership with El Paso Community College, 12 local school districts, and community leaders to raise educational aspirations and attainment, revamp teacher training, and improve curriculums in subjects such as high school math and science, and as a result, successfully preparing more graduates for college-level work, and closing the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students.
  • Implemented a highly successful program to collect and analyze data from each department and on each student as a way to track progress and develop appropriate interventions that improve performance and retention, including direct follow up with students at risk of dropping out.

Past winners of the Academic Leadership Award:

Henry S. Bienen, Northwestern University

Robert J. Birgeneau, University of California, Berkeley

Leon Botstein, Bard College

Richard H. Brodhead, Duke University

Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University

Jared L. Cohon, Carnegie Mellon University

Scott S. Cowen, Tulane University

Michael M. Crow, Arizona State University

Matthew Goldstein, The City University of New York

Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania

John L. Hennessy, Stanford University

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

William E. Kirwan, University System of Maryland

Eduardo J. Padrón, Miami Dade College

Don M. Randel, University of Chicago

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman College

About Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.