Rafael Rangel Sostmman was born in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico in 1941 and graduated as a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer in 1965 from the Tecnologico de Monterrey or Monterrey Institute of Technology (Tec). He obtained his Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin a year later. He received his Doctorate Degree in Engineering from the same university in 1973.
Since the year 1985 he has been the Rector of the Tec. He recently presented his plans to retire in the second half of 2010.
The Tec is possibly the most prestigious private institution in higher education in Mexico. It boasts 33 campuses in different Mexican states. The University has an enrollment of 92,875 students and there are 8,448 professors.
Since the beginning of his service as Rector of the Tec, one of his priorities has been the establishment of teacher training programs with the objective of having a faculty of 100% post-graduate degree accreditation.
Dr. Rangel also was a promoter of the educational model that focuses on student learning. That is why the teaching - learning process uses innovative didactic and technical means utilizing information technologies.
Being Rector of the Tec, the Institute has created exchange programs for students and teachers. Twenty (20) international liaison offices were established.
They are distributed in North America, South America, Europe and China.
Rafael Rangel has fostered research at the Tec, mainly in strategic areas for the development of the country. This has been done in the context of the new knowledge economy and has promoted establishment of enterprise incubators and technological parks inside a diverse number of other Institutes. This has been done with the idea of generating a larger synergy between academia and the productive sector...everywhere in the Country. Along with this there has been better student preparation in order to create higher professionalism in their respective companies and industries.
One example is the "Aero cluster" in the city of Monterrey, where the Tec is actively engaged in R&D and engineering programs with aerospace firms such as Airbus.
A special concern of Dr. Rangel was the possibility of extending the educational system into other sectors of Society.
He founded the University Tec Milenio which is focused on the development of professional competences in students with characteristics that are demanded in the new knowledge economy.
He has also promoted the establishment of over 1,700 Community Learning Centers located in remote communities where problems of communication exist and in these places educational and development programs are being offered. For instance, a remote middle or high school may participate in the Tec's national web educational programs.
More recently, the Tec under Dr. Rangel founded the Institute for Sustainable Social Development. This opportunity is where students can do social service activity and work as consultants for the creation of incubation and education programs.
Rafael Rangel Sostmman participated in the World Economic Forum at Davos Switzerland in 2007. After his participation he collaborated in the Club of University Directors who is interested in solving the difficult educational problems worldwide.
Rafael Rangel has requested his retirement as Rector of the I.T.E.S.M in 2010. The Academic Council of the Tec has recognized his excellent career trajectory and outstanding achievements by duly accepting his request for retirement. This comes after 25 years of service as the head of the TEC.
Among his most important achievements accomplished during his 25 year tenure as Rector of the Tec there are:
- The creation of 14 new campuses with world class infrastructure endowment extended to other campus where there was none.
- The creation of the Virtual University that has, at this time gone worldwide.
- The establishment of 32 University Tec Milenio campuses.
- The total number of alumni increased from 33,000 in 1985 to 122,540 at the present.
- The establishment of a postgraduate teacher training program complete with all the international accreditation standards.
- The reform of the curricula and the redesign of the teaching – learning process with the objective to train students who continue to develop a value system that is humanistic in conception with a well-grounded formation responsible for the educational, economic and social development of their communities.
As entrepreneurs these are individuals who are competitive and international in their outlook as professionals.
- The creation of Research Centers featuring the fields of Biotechnology, Health Sciences and Advanced Technology for Production, all offered at the Monterrey Campus. Another project is focused on the Mecatronic design at the state campus located in Mexico City. There are new projects of IT in Guadalajara and Automotive Design is an important focus at the Toluca Campus.
- The creation of 126 research chairs oriented to 9 strategic areas. All these are focused on the creation of companies for the development of diverse regions in Mexico. This is being done in the context of the new knowledge economy.
- He also created the Graduates School of Administration and Company Directors; the Graduates School of Public Administration and Policy is also his contribution.
- The creation of 13 technological parks to promote establishment of new companies nearby the Tec's campuses.
- The consolidation of the Hospital San Jose Tec de Monterrey and initiation of the creation of the Zambrano Hellion Medical Center.
In 2000, Dr. Rangel presided the Educational Commission as part of the transition team selected by "at that time" elected President Vicente Fox. More recently Rafael Rangel was invited by President Felipe Calderon to participate on the General Council for Scientific Investigation and the Technological Development of the Presidency.
He has also taken part as a member of the following councils:
- World Bank Institute
- Committee to Visit the Harvard Business School
- UNIVERSIA, which is a Consortium of Latin American Universities
- SACS, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Dr. Rangel has been honored by four Universities with the Doctorate Honoris Causa: International University of Florida (1994); University of Columbia (2003); Arizona State (2004) and Georgetown (2008).
In 2006 the IE Business School awarded the Gold Medal for the first time. It was given to Rafael Rangel Sostmman. He was the first recipient of the Medal.