Message from President Emeritus

Dr. Steven H. Tallant

Over the course of my career, I have come to believe that the heart of a university is its students, and the soul is its alumni. When I first arrived on campus in 2008, I knew I was at the right place – a heart that was young, strong and eager to grow, and a soul with a tremendous passion. Immediately I saw great potential in our students and since then, I’ve seen them reach unbelievable heights. And time and time again, I’ve met alumni all across Texas and beyond with incredible stories of perseverance and success.


It is clear that we, the Javelina family, can be anything we want to be. We are, indeed, without limits.


Now we need you, to ensure the future of this success story and to build on our proud past and our rich present.


We have grown in every measurable way over the last 10 years. We attract more students to apply and admit more than ever before. We have increased admission requirements multiple times and have the best qualified students in our history. Our enrollment hit an all-time high of more than 9,000. Retention rates grew an incredible pace, from 55% to 72%. Our faculty bring in more research dollars than ever. And, of course, we’ve had the largest graduation ceremonies to date.


But perhaps what I’m most proud of is this: our university is prominently ranked statewide and nationally for its social mobility by three different sources- The New York Times, CollegeNET, Inc. and Washington Monthly. Social mobility is the extent to which U.S. colleges and universities efficiently graduate students from low-income economic backgrounds into promising careers.


The goal of the social mobility rankings are to help refocus universities from chasing “prestige” and toward providing economic opportunity more broadly for citizens. The ranking criteria fit the mission and values of our university, placing importance on affordable tuition, graduation rates and early career salary.


A quality education for as many in the region as possible, leading to a successful career, benefits the entire state of Texas.


Most of our students come from South Texas and modest means. When they graduate, we have changed their life – and their families – forever.