“In ‘75 I took over as dean ad interim. Dr. [Arleigh B.] Templeton used that terminology. They were still testing the waters in a sense, because I would imagine I was the first black administrator of an academic unit in the U.T. System. They wouldn’t call me acting dean. So they said dean ad interim, and they watched. They wanted to see what the faculty of the College of Science would think, how they would react. The faculty seemed to be very enlightened and open. During those years before I was promoted to full professor, I was on committees with various faculty members, and I made a number of friends. All the science people had begun to accept me just as an individual. “
Juan O. Lawson, UTEP Faculty
[Source: Diamond Days: An Oral History of The University of Texas at El Paso. UTEP: A Pictorial History of The University of Texas at El Paso, by Nancy Hamilton, Texas Western Press, 1988.]
Kristine Navarro-McElhaney served as the director of UTEP's Institute of Oral History until 2014.