POSTED: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 4:20pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 7:27am
HIDALGO COUNTY, TEXAS (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — Ernest Aliseda is one of the newest members of the University of Texas system Board of Regents. The McAllen native is joining the board at a pivotal point. The University of Texas - Pan American and UT Brownsville are merging, and a new medical school is being created.
"It's good to have someone there at the table that will bring a valley perspective to the ut system," Aliseda said. "Because I think that our perspective is very unique."
Aliseda was the first in his family to be born in America. In addition to his place on the board, he's also a lawyer for Fred Loya Insurance, a judge in McAllen and has served in the U.S. Army.
While in the service, he has been both a defense attorney and prosecutor.
"I think having done both sides, it makes you a better attorney," he said. "It makes you see both ends of the spectrum."
The last board member to serve while living in the Valley is Mario Ramirez. He last served on the board nearly two decades ago. Aliseda's Valley roots allow him to see what it would possibly mean to have regular University classes in only Spanish.
"I would think that to be in order to be competitive, in the world stage, there might be an opportunity to have some classes strictly in Spanish," Aliseda said. "Because I can tell you from a personal standpoint, the ability to read and write in Spanish got me my first two jobs."
Aliseda's brother is a lawyer who has served in the Navy. His dad is a doctor and has served in the Army. His wife is president of McAllen ISD school board.