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McAllen
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“There Are Things That Are Greater Than One’s Self…”–Ernest Aliseda, Regent Board of Regents, The University of Texas System

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Ernie Aliseda, member of the University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents. Photo by Pollux Castor Inc.
Ernie Aliseda, member of the University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents. Photo by Pollux Castor Inc.

By Dr. Gilberto de los Santos, Professor Emeritus-The University of Texas—Pan American.

Edited by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez, Publisher-As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint Edition.

Judge Ernest Aliseda was appointed to The University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents February 2013 and confirmed by the Senate in May.  The UT System is one of the nation’s largest systems of higher education, with nine academic institutions and six health institutions that educate more than 216,000 students and employs over 87,000 faculty and staff.

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The UT System is committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care.  On June 14, 2013, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed SB 24 into law, officially approving the creation of a new university in South Texas within the UT System. The initiative is referred to as Project South Texas and will result in a single institution that spans the entire Rio Grande Valley, with a presence in each of the major metropolitan areas of Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen, and McAllen. The new university will also become home to a school of medicine.

“I am profoundly grateful to have Regent Aliseda as a member of the Board of Regents,” said Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “He is the first member of the UT System Board of Regents to represent the Rio Grande Valley in quite some time and it is fitting that he is in this leadership role as we are working diligently to plant a larger flag in South Texas. His expertise and guidance in this endeavor are invaluable. It is a privilege and joy to work with Regent Aliseda in our collective efforts to advance excellence across the mission of the University of Texas System.”

Off to a fast start, Mr. Aliseda is already serving on key UT System Board Committees such as; the Academic Affairs Committee, the Facilities Planning and Construction Committee, the Health Affairs Committee, and the Technology Transfer and Research Committee. In addition, he was appointed to serve on the Board for Lease of University Lands, where he will serve with the Texas Land Commissioner and two other Regents, one from UT and one from Texas A&M.

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As you read further you will likely agree that Mr. Aliseda’s current service and work commitments are substantial, so I was intrigued about why he accepted this high-level, time-consuming appointment.  After thinking carefully about the question, he answered: “There are things that are greater than one’s self.  I have never been one to shy away from leadership opportunities.  This opportunity in particular is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity offered and given to me by our Governor to represent UT System and our area of the State.  I am grateful to be able to work and take part in something that will create a long lasting positive impact for our community. The comprehensive research university and medical school will forever change the educational and economic landscape of South Texas, the Valley, and the entire state of Texas.  It will create new jobs, attract new federal and private funding, launch new facilities construction, and most importantly – provide higher education and training opportunities, and a stronger future, for generations of high school graduates in the Valley.”

Ernie, as his RGV friends call him, is first and foremost a family man.  His proudest accomplishment is marrying Debbie Crane, who is currently President of the McAllen ISD School Board, and with Debbie raising their outstanding five children. They have one son and four daughters; Cristina age 20 enrolled at the University of Houston, Alexandra, age 19 attending The University of Texas at San Antonio, Nicolas age 20 attending The University of Texas Pan American, Sofia age 13, attending Morris Middle School, and Natali age 6 attending Perez Elementary.   (Ernie kiddingly quips that perhaps one of the reasons he was appointed a Regent is because a huge part of his paycheck goes to pay tuition and fees to Texas higher educational institutions.)

Ernie and Debbie both moved to McAllen to be closer to their parents.  Ernie’s parents are Laura and Jose Luis Aliseda, M.D. and Debbie’s parents Baudelia and Robert Crane.  While Ernie is proud of his entire family, he particularly admires his Mother for going back to school and earning a Bachelor’s Degree from UT-PA as a mature student in 1993.

Mr. Aliseda is the Managing Attorney for the Loya Insurance Group. Loya Insurance Group is made up of several privately owned insurance companies and has been consistently selected among the top 20 largest Hispanic owned and operated businesses in the United States. He is also a municipal court judge for the City of McAllen and a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves, Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG).

Mr. Aliseda is currently both a Life Fellow and Board member of the College of the State Bar. In 2005, he was elected to a three-year term by the attorneys in South Texas as State Bar Director for the State Bar of Texas representing the attorneys in 17 South Texas counties. There, he was Vice Chair of the State Bar Minorities in the Profession Committee and served as a Council Member for the Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar.

Judge Aliseda is also a past President of the Hidalgo County Bar Association; a past President of the Hidalgo County Young Lawyers Association; past Board of Director, Texas Young Lawyers Association, State Bar of Texas; past Board Member of the Texas Rural Legal Aid; and also a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He volunteers his time as a Judge for the McAllen Teen Court program and also as a Vice President of the McAllen Citizen’s League. An author and frequent lecturer, Judge Aliseda has lectured on various legal topics throughout the United States, Mexico, and abroad in Portugal and Spain. In 2009, he was awarded the “Ethics Award” by the Hidalgo County Bar Association and the Texas Center for Legal Ethics.

Mr. Aliseda earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center—and also attended UT-PA two summers. He is a licensed attorney in Texas and Illinois and is also licensed to practice before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. He is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law, along with being a certified mediator, arbitrator, and litigation management professional.

One of Mr. Aliseda’s foremost goals is to assist the RGV to achieve its potential to excel in becoming an exemplary bilingual, bicultural, and bi-literate Region, since he feels “The Valley” is poised to make this dream a reality.  TBB

 

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