The UT System Board of Regents is moving forward with plans for a new university and medical school in the Rio Grande Valley, voting Wednesday to approve goals and guiding principals for the establishments.

“These guiding principles are the foundation on which this new university will be built,” Board Chairman Gene Powell said at Wednesday’s Board of Regents’ meeting, according to a UT-System statement. “If we are truly to transform south Texas and build a state-of-the-art university in the Rio Grande Valley, we have to think globally and that is exactly what we are doing.”

The guideing principals include promoting postsecondary education to a diverse student body; developing a medical school of the first class; and becoming a global leader in higher education, health education, bio-medical research and emerging technology.

The new university will be the second-largest Hispanic-serving institution in the nation, according to the statement.

According to the statement, the next steps in creating the university include launching a presidential search and choosing a name for it.

Gov. Rick Perry will join Powell, Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and other UT System leaders on July 16 to celebrate the passage of legislation that authorizes the creation of the new university, according to the statement.

Governor Perry will hold ceremonial bill signings on the campuses of UT Pan American and UT Brownsville, the universities being combined to create the new one, and Cigarroa will discuss the next steps in the creation of the new university.

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