When Stephen Crites Jr., Ph.D., first joined The University of Texas at El Paso in 1994 as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, the University had four doctoral programs. Since then, it has grown to offer 22 doctoral programs and earned a Carnegie R1 designation as a top tier research university.
Crites, the new dean of UTEP’s Graduate School as of May 1, 2019, said that although this growth has been exciting to witness, the University must continue to push forward.
“For us to remain (R1), we need to continue to grow our grant-funded research and doctoral degrees; it’s very important to continue this growth,” Crites said. “The world is constantly changing, so if you’re not advancing, you’ll be moving backwards.”
The new dean said he will focus on looking at new opportunities and other areas where doctoral programs could be implemented. He will evaluate existing doctoral programs to look for improvements and find ways to attract more applicants.
Crites joined the UTEP faculty after earning his Ph.D. in social psychology from Ohio State University. He took on several leadership roles in the department, including graduate program director and department chair.
Crites was asked to serve as interim dean for the College of Liberal Arts in 2017 and for the College of Business Administration in 2018.
During his UTEP career, Crites said he has worked with many hardworking and determined students. As for incoming UTEP students, he has some advice to help them prepare for their careers.
“A graduate degree is now a requirement in many fields to advance,” Crites said. “Undergraduate students should start thinking about what field they would like to be in and the requirements for that field.” - Jesse Martinez