Air Force Secretary Wilson Is New UTEP President

April 3, 2019

The University of Texas System Board of Regents on Tuesday named U.S. Air Force secretary Heather Wilson the next president of the University of Texas at El Paso, despite opposition from UTEP faculty.

Wilson, a Republican former New Mexico congresswoman appointed to the top Air Force job by President Trump, succeeds UTEP's longtime president Diana Natalicio, 79, who plans to step down later this year after 31 years on the job.

The university's Faculty Senate last week said a survey of its members found that 52.3 percent opposed Wilson's selection; 27 percent supported it, while 20.7 percent were neutral about it.

UTEP's student body is 80 percent Latinx, with another 4 percent Mexican nationals. Wilson, who is white and not Hispanic, represented central New Mexico in Congress for a decade. Her selection as sole finalist last month generated student and faculty protests.

She is expected to assume the new position Aug. 15.

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