Ricardo Romo, Ph.D.
Ricardo Romo served as the fifth president of the University of Texas San Antonio from 1999-2017. He is a recognized urban historian and has taught and published in the field of civil rights, Mexican American history and urban history. His book, East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio, is in its 9th edition.
The transformation of UTSA under Romo’s leadership is evident in three distinct areas; the undergraduate experience; graduate programs; and expansion of the campus infrastructure. For the more than twenty thousand undergraduates students, the growth in enrollment coincided with the addition of the campus’ three residence halls and expansion of athletic programs, including the addition of a football team and new practice fields. The academic needs were met with the creation of four new colleges. The graduate program saw a significant expansion of doctoral programs from three to twenty-four and now serves nearly seven thousand graduate students. Perhaps most profound was the addition of ten new buildings as the campus grew from two million square feet to nearly six million square feet. In addition, he led the efforts to establish the Cybersecurity program which garnered recognition as the best undergraduate cyber program in the nation.
Among the many awards Romo has received are: Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at Stanford; the prestigious Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education from the University of California, Berkeley; the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from the United States Army North; the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Texas Exes Alumni Association; and, the Isabel la Catolica award, the highest award given to non-Spanish subjects, bestowed by King Juan Carlos of Spain.
Romo has also received numerous special appointments, including: by former President Bush and re-appointed by President Obama to the White House Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics; as a U.S. representative to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization; as Vice Chair for the Federal Reserve Bank; as Chair for Southwest Research Institute; and as Vice Chair for Air University.