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UTSA President Romo Announces Retirement For August 2017

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Louisa Jonas
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Texas Public Radio
UTSA President Ricardo Romo announces his retirement.

Ricardo Romo has announced his plans to retire next August following 18 years of service as president of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Romo is the fifth and longest serving president in UTSA’s 47-year history and its first Hispanic president.

When asked what accomplishments make him most proud as president at UTSA for almost two decades, Romo points to what UTSA students have done during his tenure.

"I can’t begin to tell you all the joys I get when students decide that they want something new, and big and different on this campus. We built the Rec Center. One of the highlights. The students were right. Me, myself, I probably wouldn’t have put a rec center on the top of my list, but the students said this is where we want to hang out all the time. So, 3,000 hang out there every day. It’s a joy. I walk in there sometimes and pat myself on the back," Romo says.

He continues, when they expanded the $65 million rec center, it was one or two of the largest in the country.

He says it’s hard to leave with exciting advancements like the new brain health initiative and new developments in cybersecurity on campus.

"But there’s never a good time to leave. If I’d think I could just do a little more here, a little more there, a year from now, two years from now, it’d be the same thing. We have momentum. I can’t leave when we have momentum. The next year, the year after, the year after—I believe this place is destined for greatness. And it was going to be difficult anytime I left," Romo says.

Chancellor William McRaven says the university will begin a national search for the next president soon.

Louisa Jonas is an independent public radio producer, environmental writer, and radio production teacher based in Baltimore. She is thrilled to have been a PRX STEM Story Project recipient for which she produced a piece about periodical cicadas. Her work includes documentaries about spawning horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds aired on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Louisa previously worked as the podcast producer at WYPR 88.1FM in Baltimore. There she created and produced two documentary podcast series: Natural Maryland and Ascending: Baltimore School for the Arts. The Nature Conservancy selected her documentaries for their podcast Nature Stories. She has also produced for the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Distillations Podcast. Louisa is editor of the book Backyard Carolina: Two Decades of Public Radio Commentary. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her training also includes journalism fellowships from the Science Literacy Project and the Knight Digital Media Center, both in Berkeley, CA. Most recently she received a journalism fellowship through Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she traveled to Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska to study climate change. In addition to her work as an independent producer, she teaches radio production classes at Howard Community College to a great group of budding journalists. She has worked as an environmental educator and canoe instructor but has yet to convince a great blue heron to squawk for her microphone…she remains undeterred.