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Timeline: 2000s



May 10 – UTEP embraces a new vision and mission for the 21st century. UTEP’s vision is to provide “quality higher education to a diverse student population,” while “dedicated to teaching and to the creation, interpretation, and dissemination of knowledge.” [BR]

March 6 – Vladimir Putin becomes President of Russia

July 2 – Vicente Fox elected the first opposition President of Mexico

August 9 – The UT Board of Regents authorize entering into negotiations with El Paso County regarding capital improvements to the Sun Bowl, which includes the construction of the Larry K. Durham Sports Center. [BR]

October 2 – The UT System votes to use its power of eminent domain to acquire ownership of the Sun Bowl from El Paso County. [BR]

October 12 – USS Cole bombing

November 2 – First crew arrives at the International Space Station

December 12 – George W. Bush declared President of the United States following a ruling by the Supreme Court


March 7 – With the projection that enrollment will more than double to 30,000 students by 2030, UTEP determines that it needs to get serious about its perpetual parking and traffic woes.

June 7 – The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 signed into law

September 11 – September 11 terrorist attacks

September 14 – Students gather in Magoffin Auditorium to express their grief in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. [Pros.]

September 18 – Official opening of the Miner Village student-housing complex. The new units increase the housing capacity of the school by 440 students. [Pros.]

September 24 – UTEP takes over control and operation of the Sun Bowl from the El Paso County in exchange for a onetime payment of $1600 and ten annual scholarships of $2600 each, which are to be awarded by the county for an indefinite period of time. [Pros.]

October 7 – War in Afghanistan begins

October 26 – The USA PATRIOT Act signed into law


January 8 – The No Child Left Behind Act education reform bill signed into law

January 23 – The Prospector reports that Hispanic Outlook Magazine ranked UTEP number 2 university in the nation for Hispanic students. [Pros.]

May 9 – The UT Board of Regents authorizes the establishment of a doctoral degree in rhetoric and composition.

June 13 – The United States officially withdraws from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

July 12 – Since the launch of the South Texas/Border Initiative in 1993, UTEP received more than $88 million in new funding and authorization to add 33 new graduate degrees, including 9 new doctoral programs. [BR]

November 25 – The United States Department of Homeland Security is created


January 30 – Governor Rick Perry announces the imposition of a hiring freeze for all state universities. This follows his request that universities trim their budgets by 7 percent. [Pros.]

February 1 – Space Shuttle Columbia disaster

February 5 – Plans are unveiled that involve the removal of parking from the inner campus to make the school pedestrian friendly. [Pros.]

March 19 – The United States military invades Iraq

July 15 – For the first time since the Great Depression, UTEP issues layoff notices to 82 staff members due to state budget. [Pros.]

August 25 – Miner Metro shuttle bus service is introduced on campus. Total annual cost is budgeted at $145,600 for the first year. [Pros.]


January 8 – The new Miners women’s softball team takes to the diamond for its first practice. [UA]

February 4 – The social networking website Facebook was launched

July 5 –Asynchronous virtual classroom software is made available 24/7 for the first time. [Pros.]

September 23 – Students gather at the Memorial Triangle to celebrate the 90th anniversary of classes at UTEP. [Pros.]

November 2 – George W. Bush is reelected President of the United States

November 24 – The Student Government Association adopts a resolution calling for the permanent closure of the ASARCO smelter just west of campus. Building off of a similar resolution passed thirty years earlier by the SGA, the resolution cited environmental concerns for opposing the reopening of the site. [Pros.]


February 23 – The UTEP Miners’ softball team wins both games of a doubleheader at the inaugural game at the new Helen of Troy softball complex. One game features a no-hitter thrown by Megan Barber. [Pros.]

March 16 – An unofficial student group, Sogos Logos Mineros, lobbies to have the western culture course requirement removed from the catalog. The Faculty Senate rejects the request, arguing that college students should have a common body of knowledge in the liberal arts. [Pros.]

July 1 – UTEP athletics joins Conference USA (C-USA). [Pros.]

July 5 – WebCT, the University’s online learning center, goes online with 24-hour access now available to all students. [Pros.]

July 7 – “7/7” attacks on London Underground

August 23 – Hurricane Katrina strikes Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coastline

September 18 – Angela Merkel elected Germany's first woman chancellor


January 13 – Glory Road premieres. [NYT]

June 14 – Renovation work begins on the library to install over 200 computers to create the Collaborative Learning Center. [Pros.]

September 20 – For the fifth consecutive year, UTEP announces that enrollment had increased significantly, including a 6.5 percent in the number of doctoral students, and that the school was poised to surpass 20,000 students by the end of the year. [Pros.]

November 7 – The Democratic Party regained control of both houses of Congress and gained control of a majority of state governorships


January 3 – Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to be elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

January 16 – The Hilton Garden Inn opens on campus. [EPT]

April 16 – Virginia Tech massacre

May 29 – Parking permits go on sale for the new Sun Bowl Parking Garage, which will open the following week. [Pros.]

June 8 – Space Shuttle Mission STS-117 lifts off from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida with UTEP alum John “Danny” Olivas on board. Olivas will take part in a spacewalk to install components that will provide power to the International Space Station (ISS). [Pros.]

August 23 – Over $207 million in new construction and renovation projects are currently underway on campus. Projects include a bioscience research center, physical science facility, and an addition to the swimming and fitness center. [BR]


February 7 – Admission requirements are revised to align with the goals of the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence and its mission to improve college attendance among the region’s high school students. [BR]

June 25 – The Bhutanese architecture of UTEP is featured as part of the 42nd Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. [Pros.]

July 11 – Oil prices in the United States hit a record $147 per barrel

July 23 – UTEP begins offering a 15-month “fast-track” nursing program to address a critical shortage of nurses throughout Texas. [Pros.]

September 1 – Hurricane Ike strikes the Texas coast

September 14 – Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers

September 20 – The stock market crash of 2008

November 4 – Barack Obama is elected President of the United States


February 17 – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law

March 12 – Ground is broken for the new $69.2 million Chemistry and Computer Science Building. [UE]

August 8 – Sonia Sotomayor sworn in as the first Hispanic Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

August 28 – Making his second journey into space, NASA astronaut and UTEP alumnus Danny Olivas once again boards Space Shuttle Discovery for mission STS-128 to the International Space Station. The mission includes the installation of the COLBERT—Combined Operational Load Bearing Resistance Treadmill. [Pros.]

September 8 – The first living “green roof” in Paso del Norte region is installed on the roof of the biology building. [Pros.]

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