An unexpected announcement late last week by University of Texas System officials that they will indefinitely delay the selection of a site for an administration building for the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was genius.
Albeit the decision likely angered many — politicians and municipal leaders included — who were all vying for this valuable infrastructure. But in the end, who can argue with UT-RGV President Guy Bailey’s reasoning that building himself and his cabinet fancy, new offices should not be a priority when students have genuine needs?
Bailey’s statement that ensuring that students and faculty have adequate classroom and research facilities would better serve our region, is something that no one can criticize (at least not publicly.)
“We have many needs and priorities, including building labs and classrooms and launching a research center for diabetes and obesity. A central administrative building may one day be needed, but other needs must take precedence right now,” Bailey said in a Friday news release.
Bailey’s decision, in essence sideswiped the 25 entities that had all put in proposals to host the site, which included the cities of McAllen, Weslaco, Edinburg and Brownsville. And it did so in a way that few, if any, could have seen coming.
More importantly, it appears to signal that leaders of UT-RGV are going to be prudent with state funds and will put student and staff interests first. And that’s the way it should be.
Bailey has made it clear that he and his top staff will be mobile and rotate from the campuses in Edinburg, Brownsville and Harlingen’s RAC. And, he does have use of the president’s offices in Edinburg and Brownsville, after all.
We wish Bailey and his staff many safe travels.
Editorials reflect The Monitor editorial board’s majority opinion.