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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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SDSU Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa named sole finalist for President at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. (SDSU File Photo) SDSU Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa named sole finalist for President at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. (SDSU File Photo)

SDSU Provost Ochoa Named Sole Finalist for Texas A&M University-San Antonio President

As Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa prepares for this major transition, Vice Provost William Tong will step into the interim role until a permanent provost is named following a national search.
By SDSU News Team

The Texas A&M Board of Regents voted unanimously on May 18 to name Salvador Hector Ochoa as the sole finalist for president at the Texas A&M University-San Antonio. 


Dr. Ochoa, who joined San Diego State University in 2019 as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, shared the news in an all-campus announcement with President de la Torre on Thursday.  


As the new Texas A&M University-San Antonio president, Ochoa will report directly to the chancellor and will be responsible for implementing system policies and effectively leading the institution; sustaining and enhancing the institution’s mission and overall operations; and fostering and building upon the existing traditions, distinctiveness, and strengths of the university.


“As a South Texas native, this is a homecoming for Hector," said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. "The people and communities of South Texas have long held a place in his heart. As a leader, I cannot underscore enough how important that community fit is, and how excited I am for Hector to have found this opportunity and take this next step. He is extraordinarily well positioned, accomplished, and ready: and I am thrilled that I will continue to call him a close colleague.” 


A nationally regarded education scholar and administrator whose research focus centers on bilingual psychoeducational assessment and educational programming, Ochoa has either led or co-led numerous initiatives and efforts designed to expand the university’s research enterprise and resources for graduate students, as well as investments in university faculty and instructors. 


He also co-led the university’s strategic planning efforts – involving ??all areas of the campus – which established the university's top strategic plan priorities for future development and growth.


“It has been a true honor to serve as Provost and Senior Vice President at San Diego State University. I am particularly grateful to have served under the leadership of President de la Torre, and alongside so many talented colleagues. I have no doubt that the exceptional progress SDSU is making will continue, and even accelerate,” Ochoa said. 


Vice Provost William Tong will support Ochoa during his period of transition over the next four weeks. Dr. Tong will step into the interim role on June 19. 


“I am grateful to Provost Ochoa for his leadership, vision, partnership, and mentorship, and I send him my best wishes for his exciting new position in Texas,” said Tong, Vice Provost and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.


“I am looking forward to continuing to serve our students, faculty and staff, and assist President de la Torre and other university leaders in fulfilling the university’s mission and top strategic plan priorities for future development and growth."


As vice provost, Tong has assisted Ochoa in planning and implementing major academic activities and initiatives, and has also worked closely with deans, associate deans, chairs, and directors on fulfilling the university’s mission and strategic plan priorities. He has also been instrumental in university plans to grow SDSU Imperial Valley, including its approved STEM facility, and efforts supporting Lithium Valley. 


“Dr. Tong is a trusted colleague with extensive knowledge and expertise in all things academic affairs: he understands the needs of our research community, the coordination of our academic offerings, the planning for our infrastructure needs, and also what is needed to support our tenure and tenure-track faculty searches and hires,” de la Torre said. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to serve our university community and prepare for a national search.” 


As Tong steps into the role of Interim Provost, Sonja Pruitt-Lord, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Health and Human Services and a Speech Language Professor, will serve as Interim Vice Provost.