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Board of Regents officially votes to appoint Heather Wilson as next UTEP President

The UT Board of Regents officially voted to elect Heather Wilson as UTEP’s next president Tuesday morning.

Wilson’s nomination as president has been met with controversy. Many have questioned her voting record on LGBTQ issues.

Five members of the public spoke out against Wilson’s nomination this morning. Each person had three minutes to speak to the UT Board of Regents.

Wilson will officially take over as UTEP President on August 15, 2019.

Wilson replaces Dr. Diana Natalicio, who served as president for decades.

El Paso businessman Paul Foster, who serves on the board had this to say during Tuesday morning’s meeting:

“I appreciate and respect the comments of those who voice the opposition,” Foster said. “I feel obligated to say that unequivocally, she’s been brought forward based on her skills, her merits and her abilities.”

The board voted unanimously to appoint her.


The Heather Wilson controversy will enter a new stage on Tuesday as the University of Texas System Board of Regents will cast their final votes for the schools new president.

That vote is expected to take place in Austin with some members voting in person while others are teleconferenced in and Wilson’s potential appointment will be on of the first agenda items to be discussed.

However, in many social spaces the nomination of Heather Wilson has been met with protest, especially amongst UTEP’s student body and even some former staff members who have called for her to step away from the position.

Additionally, a student coalition petition was recently circulated cross the community, racking up well over 9,000 signatures from students and residents questioning Wilson’s voting record on issues like LGBTQ employment protections and her perceived lack of experience as a classroom administrator.

“I don’t make any apologies for my academic credentials,” said Wilson. “It is true that I have only been a classroom teacher as an adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico with undergraduate students and I actually absolutely loved that.”

But that has not been good enough for most student activists.

“If she really wanted to come here and gauge us and be for the students, this would not be happening,” said UTEP Students Coalition organizer Hira Ali. “She would be sitting in an auditorium all day just talking to the students and faculty who are concerned but that is not what is happening.”

The former Air Force Secretary did take the time last week to come to the UTEP campus where held a series of private meetings with student groups and faculty members.

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