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      Gov. Perry signs UTB, UTPA merger bill into law

      Hundreds of people attended the signing ceremony

      Texas Gov. Rick Perry traveled to Edinburg to sign a bill into law officially merging UTPA and UTB and creating a medical school in the Rio Grande Valley.

      Before an audience of hundreds on the UTPA campus, Perry signed Senate Bill 24 into law.

      Lawmakers and other dignitaries were on hand for the ceremony.

      The new law merges both UTB and UTPA and creates the future South Texas School of Medicine into a single institution that spans the entire Rio Grande Valley.

      Some $100 million dollars in funds are expected over the next decade to accelerate the pace of establishing the school of medicine.

      The University of Texas Board of Regents will soon launch a national search for a president, with the goal of selecting a one in early 2014.

      Sources told Action 4 News that the medical school could start admitting students as soon as 2015.

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