Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Fresno State’s vice president for administration and chief financial officer, was named the sole finalist and interim president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio on Saturday.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me, and I feel a very strong emotional connection also to that campus for personal reasons,” said Teniente-Matson, a San Antonio native.
Teniente-Matson, who has been at Fresno State since 2004, will begin her new position as interim president on Jan. 12. The Texas A&M University system’s board of regents will then confirm her presidency at its next scheduled meeting in February.
After being nominated by several professionals from within California for the position, including one from Fresno State, Teniente-Matson decided to go through the process.
“I will miss the people here, the energy that is here and the wonderful students that we serve and the impact this university makes on the community. It’s very heartfelt,” she said.
With Texas A&M University-San Antonio only first achieving stand-alone status in 2009, Teniente-Matson said she’s excited about “the future for that campus.”
“Being part of the Texas A&M’s system, that campus – which is brand new – we’re developing the campus from the ground up, with the many wonderful students that live in that community and in that region,” she said.
“We are ready to go to the next level in San Antonio,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University system. “Dr. Teniente-Matson brings the kind of thought, leadership and practical experience that will help us get there.”
Reflecting on her time at Fresno State, Teniente-Matson said the campus footprint has changed over the years due to new leadership and progress on the campus masterplan coming to life.
“There’s a number of wonderful people across the university and within our division that are just amazing stewards of Fresno State, and they really love and are really committed to the university,” she said.
Prior to her time at Fresno State, Teniente-Matson held a number of administrative positions at the University of Alaska from 1991 to 2004.
Fresno State President Joseph Castro said Teniente-Matson is well prepared to serve as the next president of the Texas university.
“She is exceptionally bright and brings a significant track record of professional accomplishments to this exciting new leadership position,” Castro said. “While Dr. Matson will be missed at California State University, Fresno, I am pleased for her that she has the opportunity to serve in the community where she was born.”
With personal ties to the area, Teniente-Matson expressed excitement about reconnecting with her family in San Antonio. Her grandparents lived in south Texas when they first moved to the U.S. and her parents went to high school in the district where the campus is located.