Building on
American Latino Success
To Forge A Stronger America

Dr. Ricardo Romo

The University of Texas at San Antonio 

Ricardo Romo became the fifth president of The University of Texas at San Antonio in May 1999. Under his leadership, UTSA was named by the Texas Legislature as an emerging Tier One research university and a leader in providing access to excellence in teaching, research and community outreach.

During Romo’s tenure, UTSA’s enrollment has grown 68 percent, and the university has added numerous programs and facilities to enhance student life. The number of doctoral programs has increased from three to 24.

A native of San Antonio’s West Side, Romo graduated from Fox Tech High School and attended the University of Texas at Austin on a track scholarship. He was the first Texan to run the mile in less than four minutes, and his mile record lasted 41 years. He earned a B.S. degree in education (1967).

Romo holds a master’s degree in history from Loyola Marymount University (1970) and a Ph.D. in history from UCLA (1975). A nationally respected urban historian, Romo is the author of "East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio," now in its ninth printing (one in Spanish).

Romo has received many honors in his career. In 2007, he received the Isabel la Catolica award, the highest award given to non-Spanish subjects, bestowed by King Juan Carlos of Spain. In 2008, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Texas Exes Alumni Association. In 2010, he received the San Antonio North Chamber Dolph Briscoe Salute to Excellence Award. In 2011, Romo was presented the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Chief Executive Leadership Award, and was appointed by President Obama to the White House Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

In 2012, Romo received the Colonel W.T. Bondurant Sr. Distinguished Humanitarian Award from the San Antonio Academy Alumni Council. In March 2013, Romo received the prestigious Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Wheaton College Otis Social Justice Award for promoting social justice through education and public service.

Romo is married to Dr. Harriett Romo, a UTSA professor of sociology and director of the UTSA Mexico Center and Bank of America Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute (CAPRI). The Romos are avid art collectors and recently more than 60 prints from their collection were on display San Antonio’s McNay Museum in an exhibit titled "Estampas de la Raza." The traveling exhibit portrays the Latino experience in the United States through the work of 44 Mexican-American and Latino artists. These amazing prints are now on view at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and will continue to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, followed by the Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles. A talented photographer, Romo’s photos have been included in numerous regional exhibits including "Havana" and "Small Town Texas," from which photos were selected for an exhibit in China, "Infinite Horizons: Visions of Texas."