"In short order, we will be dedicating Phase II, initiating Phase III, continuing our academic program and services development, working to retain base funding hand in hand with our legislative team, while continuing to secure external financial support for the University," Garcia explained.
The year will also be highlighted by the selection of a new President for the 25-year-old University and ongoing recruitment of faculty, administrators and professional staff," he said.
"As Laredoans look to the northeast horizon, they can expect to see construction underway at their University. The skyline will continue to be dominated by the University's expansion. We expect ancillary growth in housing and services for students to accompany on-campus growth," he said.
Planned for opening in 1998, Phase III will accommodate a student body that could exceed 6000 students, Garcia said. Phase III will include a Student Development Center, a Fine Arts Complex, Intramural Fields and Courts and an additional Academic Classroom and parking.
"This is a difficult time for the State of Texas and higher education is often targeted for reductions in funding. We will look to the able support of our local legislators, our community at large and our leaders in Austin to help us to assure that the University's mandate for continued growth is maintained," he explained.
"On the economic front, our researchers show the University's economic impact could reach $63 million. The indirect economic impact is over $18 million. By the year 2000, the projected total economic impact would be over $125 million," he noted.
"We will continue to work aggressively to secure the external support necessary and appreciate the generosity that has been provided the University in the past. A great University in this area will come from the finest facilities, faculty and students, and also from the support provided by the community it serves. Continued community support will be pivotal in the completion of Phases III and IV and the ultimate completion of a comprehensive campus for the region," he said.
While many have been dazzled by the University's facilities and technological level of achievement, Garcia said the University remains first and foremost an institution deeply committed to an international focus and individualized education for every student who sets foot on campus.
"Working hand in hand with The Texas A&M University System, we have an enduring commitment to the growth and learning of the individual through the gift of a quality, international education. It is an honorable legacy we are all proud to be able to provide," he said.
Former president Dr. Leo Sayavedra, who guided the University in securing its new campus and four-year expansion, was named The Texas A&M University System's Deputy Chancellor for Academic Institutions and Agencies this past November. He assumed his new duties Jan. 1, 1996.
"Naturally, we believe replacing Dr. Sayavedra's keen leadership and enthusiasm for TAMIU will be difficult," Garcia said, "but we have established a national search with a local Search Committee directing the effort. We hope to be able to announce Texas A&M International University's fourth president in the late Spring of 1996."
Garcia said he is confident that 1996 will be a memorable year for the University. "We're looking forward to the challenges of continuing to grow and provide for the educational needs of the global community we serve," he said.