ABOUT THE PRESIDENT
Diana Natalicio was named president of UTEP in 1988. During her long and distinguished career with the University, Dr. Natalicio has also served as vice president for academic affairs, dean of liberal arts, chair of the modern languages department and professor of linguistics. Her sustained commitment to provide all residents of the Paso del Norte region access to outstanding higher education opportunities has helped make UTEP a national success story.
During Dr. Natalicio’s tenure as president, UTEP’s enrollment has grown from 15,000 to over 25,000 students, who reflect the demographics of the Paso del Norte region from which nearly 90% of them come. More than 80% are Mexican-American, and approximately 5% commute to the campus from Juárez, Mexico. Since 1988, UTEP’s annual budget has increased from $65 million to nearly $450 million. UTEP is designated as a research/ doctoral university, recognized nationally for both the excellence and breadth of its academic and research programs. UTEP’s annual research expenditures have grown from $6 million to over $90 million, and doctoral programs from one to 22 during this same period. To accommodate steady growth in enrollment, academic programs and research, the University has recently committed nearly $400 million in new and renovated facilities expansion in science, engineering, health sciences, and other student quality-of-life related infrastructure.
In 2017, President Natalicio was named one of Fortune magazine’s Top 50 World Leaders. In 2016, she was honored with the Hispanic Heritage Award in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and was included on the 2016 TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2015, the Carnegie Corporation of New York honored President Natalicio with its prestigious Academic Leadership Award in recognition of her exceptional achievements during the transformation of UTEP into a national public research university. In 2011, the President of Mexico presented her the Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca, the highest recognition bestowed on foreign nationals. She also received the TIAA Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. She was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award at The University of Texas at Austin, and awarded honorary doctoral degrees by St. Louis University, Northeastern University, Victoria University (Melbourne, Australia), Georgetown University, Smith College and the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon (Mexico).
A graduate of St. Louis University, President Natalicio earned a master’s degree in Portuguese and a doctorate in linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin.