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 Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Since 1988, UTEP’s annual budget has increased from $65 million to more than $500 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 nearly $95 million per year, 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.
Dr. Natalicio has served on numerous boards including the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), Rockefeller Foundation, Trinity Industries, Sandia Corporation, U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC), American Council on Education, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and Internet2. She was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to membership on the Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans and by President Bill Clinton to the National Science Board, where she served two six-year terms, including three two-year terms as NSB vice-chair.
A graduate of St. Louis University, Dr. Natalicio earned a master’s degree in Portuguese and a doctorate in linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin.