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utrgv-prelim-logoAUSTIN–Guy Bailey, a proven leader with extensive experience at the helm of large research institutions, has been selected by the University of Texas System Board of Regents as the sole finalist for the position of founding president for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Bailey has served as chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the president of Texas Tech University and the University of Alabama, and provost of the University of Texas at San Antonio. While at UMKC, which is home to schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law, Bailey developed an action plan designed to make the institution a model research university.

Under state law, Regents must name a finalist for a university presidency at least 21 days before making the appointment.

“I view this role as the single most exciting educational opportunity in America today,” Bailey said after being informed of the Board’s decision. “I look forward to working with everyone as we launch the nation’s first major public university of the 21st century.  I am truly honored to be the sole finalist.”

UTRGV will welcome the inaugural class of students in fall 2015.

Bailey, a sociolinguist, was most recently president of the University of Alabama. He has also held positions at Emory University, Texas A&M University and Oklahoma State University and served as dean of liberal arts at the University of Nevada at Reno.

He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in English linguistics from the University of Tennessee and is the author of more than 100 books and articles. Bailey will visit the Rio Grande Valley campuses in the coming weeks to meet with students, faculty, staff and community members.

“Outstanding leadership is crucial for any institution of higher education,” UT System Board of Regents Chairman Paul Foster said. “UTRGV’s unique and innovative environment, which will integrate next-generation technology and customized learning to increase access and affordability for all students, calls for a visionary leader like Dr. Bailey. We initially saw his tremendous leadership first-hand when he served as provost of UT San Antonio, and we were impressed with continued successes at Texas Tech and Missouri. We are thrilled to welcome him back to the UT System.”

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