Edinburg EDC: Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, UTRGV Provost and former member of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, appointed by New York Gov. Cuomo as President of The University at Albany
Featured at the podium is Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, founding Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, on Saturday, July 23, 2016, welcoming the UTRGV School of Medicine’s Class of 2020 for the inaugural White Coat Ceremony at the Performing Arts Center in Edinburg. Among the dignitaries who also participated in the South Texas landmark event were, front row, from left: Dr. Leonel Vela, then-Senior Associate Dean for Education and Academic Affairs; Dr. Guy Bailey, President of UTRGV; and UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven. Rodríguez, a former member of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, caught the attention of statewide leaders in higher education and state politics on the East Coast which resulted in the Wednesday, June 21, 2017 announcement by New York Gov. Mario Cuomo that the longtime Edinburg resident has been selected as the 20th president of The University at Albany. The appointment will take effect in mid-September.
Photograph By DAVID PIKE
Dr. Havidán Rodríguez generously credits the people of South Texas – including his colleagues on the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation — for helping prepare him to serve as the 20th president of The University at Albany in upstate New York. Rodríguez believes one of the strengths of his successful candidacy for the presidency of The University at Albany was his work on the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors from June 2013 through May 2015, which allowed him to develop expertise in municipal government, economic development, and state legislative affairs. “I think it was critically important because it got me, and it got UTPA (The University of Texas-Pan American), and later UTRGV, to remain connected to the city, and continued to fortify and strengthen the university relationships with the city,” he said. “We established great partnerships that benefited both the city and UTRGV, and especially the students. This was a fabulous experience in my professional development.” The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related. Gus García said Rodríguez’ efforts on behalf of the Edinburg EDC and UTRGV have been impressive and appreciated. “From working with the Edinburg EDC and the Edinburg City Council on its joint efforts that have brought hundreds of millions of dollars in economic growth to the community, to helping the city’s leadership on its pro-business and high quality-of-life strategies that have resulted for years in one of the lowest unemployment rates in deep South Texas, soon-to-be President Rodríguez has made his presence felt in these and many other ways,” Gus García said. Among their many duties, members of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors attend board meetings and vote on key issues regarding job creation and social, cultural and economic development of the community. They, along with the Edinburg EDC staff, also visit with potential business investors and consultants who work in collaboration with the city, as well as facilitate and attend joint meetings with the university and the city’s key officials.