Ricardo Romo, the longtime president of the University of Texas at San Antonio, announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the school year.
Romo has been president of the university for almost 18 years. He said he plans to take a year off and then return to the university as a historian at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures. His total compensation last fiscal year was $448,000, according to the Legislative Budget Board.
“This is the right time to hand the reins of leadership to a new president, knowing there is a solid foundation of excellence in place and tremendous momentum that will keep UTSA moving forward," he said in a statement.
Romo presided over the university during a time of massive growth. Enrollment increased by 68 percent, and the number of academic programs nearly doubled. It also started a football team and, like others in the state, made growing into a top-tier research university one of its key goals.
“Our progress as a university has been monumental," Romo said. "We are well on our way to tier one, and it is closer than ever.”
Prior to coming to UTSA, he was an administrator at UT-Austin and played a major role in the creation of Texas' Top 10 Percent Rule, which promises automatic admission into state universities to students who graduate near the top of their high school's class.
"Ricardo Romo has dedicated his life to education — from Texas to California and back again — but there is no place where his commitment is more evident than at UTSA," UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven said in a statement. "As a beloved, native son of San Antonio, President Romo has transformed UTSA to a thriving, destination university with nationally ranked academic programs, a blossoming football program and a growing reputation across the country."
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