Clark Kerr Award
The Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate has announced that Dr. Ricardo Romo, president of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has received the 2013 Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. The award was created in 1968 as a tribute to the leadership and legacy of UC President Emeritus Kerr. It recognizes an individual who has made an extraordinary and distinguished contribution to the advancement of higher education. The award was presented at a ceremony on the Berkeley campus in March.
In a statement from the Division’s office, Dr. Romo was praised for his record of extraordinary achievement in an area of institutional leadership that clearly reflects Clark Kerr’s vision for the role of the university in American democracy. In 14 years as president of UTSA, Romo has led in transforming his institution from the status of a local and mainly undergraduate-serving institution to that of a highly competitive general campus with an array of respected professional and doctoral programs. With more than 30,000 students, including 1,000 foreign students from 90 countries, UTSA now has 25 doctoral programs and supports educational programs and joint research activities in Texas and in many countries around the world. Under Romo’s leadership, his university has partnered with both public-sector and private-sector programs, building strong support to studies in the liberal arts, the fine arts, and science and technology. In prominent recognition of its rising reputation and achievements under Romo’s leadership, UTSA was one of seven North American universities founded within the last 50 years that were named in the 2012 Times Higher Education’s “world’s 400 best”.
A pioneering scholar in the development of the research field of U.S. urban-immigration and ethnic history, Romo is author of East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio, now in its ninth reprinting, and of respected scholarly articles on the civil rights movement in the Southwest and the West. He has served on numerous national and regional educational commissions, most recently on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. He is a member of the boards of the American Council on Education; the Philosophical Society of Texas; Humanities Texas; the Austin Museum of Art; and COMEXUS (the U.S.-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange). In 2007, Spain’s King Juan Carlos awarded Romo the Isabel la Catolica Award, the highest honor given to non-Spanish subjects, in recognition of his contributions to advancement of Hispanic culture in the United States. And last year the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) named Romo as winner of its Chief Executive Leadership Award, recognizing the rapid emergence of UTSA as a research university and general campus.
In announcing the award, the Academic Senate praised Dr. Romo’s extraordinary success in promoting higher education as a model for recently-founded American universities, especially those serving minority communities.