Veronica Vargas Stidvent, a prominent figure in Texas higher education, was appointed as the chancellor of the nonprofit online university WGU Texas, officials announced Wednesday.
Ms. Vargas Stidvent is replacing Chancellor Ray Martinez, who in July will become the president of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT), the association of private, nonprofit institutions of higher education in Texas.
"I'm excited to join the vibrant community of WGU Texas students, alumni, and faculty," Vargas Stidvent said in a press release. "This university has made a large impact on higher education in Texas in a short time, and I look forward to building on this momentum and helping even more of our state's adult learners achieve their higher education goals."
The online university has an enrollment of more than 5,000 students and offers over 50 accredited bachelor's and master's degrees in fields such as business, information technology, K-12 teacher education and the health profession. Most of WGU Texas' degree programs charge a flat rate of $2,890 per six-month term.
Prior to joining WGU Texas, Ms. Vargas Stidvent served as president of CEA Consulting LLC and as a lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. She was the program director for both the University of Texas Hispanic Leadership Initiative and Subiendo: The Academy for Rising Leaders at the McCombs School of Business. Mr. Vargas Stidvent also had a stint at the U.S. Department of Labor.
Ms. Vargas Stidvent will be tasked with continuing to grow WGU Texas, which experienced significant growth under Chancellor Martinez. The goal of the university is to expand access to affordable higher education for Texas residents.
"We are thrilled to have (Veronica) join us as chancellor," said WGU President Robert Mendenhall. "Her impressive background and record to success in higher education and government will help us sustain the growth and success of WGU Texas."
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