The Texas A&M board of regents has selected Salvador Hector Ochoa as the sole finalist for president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio after a nationwide search. A Texas A&M alumnus, he would be the third person to hold the role.

Ochoa currently serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at San Diego State University. Under state law, there’s a 21-day waiting period before he can officially be hired at a subsequent meeting.

In a statement, Ochoa said he was “deeply honored to have been named as the sole finalist for the presidency of Texas A&M University-San Antonio,” which he called “a remarkable young institution that is doing truly transformative work in the lives of its students and in the community.”

A South Texas native, Ochoa will be the third president for the young and quickly growing college, which became a stand-alone institution in 2009. In the last 12 years, its enrollment has more than doubled, growing from 3,500 students in 2011 to 7,300 in 2022.

“The university’s mission to improve educational outcomes and leverage the talents of historically underserved student populations mirrors my own personal and professional mission, and I am eager to join the dedicated faculty and staff of A&M-San Antonio in that important work,” Ochoa said.

The new leader replaces Cynthia Teniente-Matson, who left late last year to become president of San José State University in California after leading TAMU-SA since 2015.

Linda Schott has served as TAMU-SA’s interim president since December.

The college began as a center on the Palo Alto Community College. It now has its own residence hall, buildings, faculty and a small intercollegiate sports program.

Chancellor John Sharp recommended Ochoa following a search conducted by a 17-member committee and aided by the professional search firm WittKieffer.

“Dr. Ochoa is the ideal candidate to lead Texas A&M University-San Antonio, the fastest growing campus in the A&M System,” Sharp said in a statement. “I want to thank the search committee, led by Regents Mike Hernandez and Jay Graham, for their work in finding him.”

Ochoa earned his doctorate in school psychology from Texas A&M in 1989 and received the 2013 College of Education and Human Development Outstanding Alumni Award.

He has served in academic roles including the dean of the college of education at the University of New Mexico and the University of Texas-Pan American.

His research focuses on bilingual psychoeducational assessment, according to a press release.

As president Ochoa will report directly to Sharp, according to the release.

“As a proud South Texas native and Texas A&M alumnus, I see this opportunity as both a profound privilege and, in a sense, a homecoming,” Ochoa said in a statement. “My wife, Mari, and I are looking forward to joining the Jaguar family and the San Antonio community that has so warmly embraced the university.”