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VPBA Newsletter December 2010


Kerry's Korner...

Well, another semester and calendar year are quickly coming to an end.  I’m sure it’s my age, but they are definitely coming at an accelerated pace, with great frequency and force.  I find it challenging to ask myself if over the past year I’ve made much progress in those most important areas of my life – both professional and personal, is Business Affairs a better place to work for our employees, and do our customers believe that we are better partners in their pursuit of success? 

We’ll be asking these questions and more as we begin the New Year.  I need each of you to participate in the January 2007 Survey of Organizational Excellence so that I may see the progress we’ve made over the last two years and identify those areas where we need to improve the most.  Also, the Business Horizons readership survey later this month will assist us in improving our communication to you.  Your response to these two surveys will be most beneficial to me, and hopefully to you.

Thanks for your support this past year and for your ongoing pursuit of excellence!  You are each appreciated and respected for your individual and group contributions to the University and to each other.  From all my colleagues in the Office of VP for Business Affairs, we wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and an enriching and refreshing holiday season.


of Events

New Employee
Welcome Program
December 5

Business Affairs
Holiday Reception

Laurel Room
December 19

Christmas Holidays
December 25-26

Skelton Crew Days
December 27-29

Worth Remembering...

"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content."

Helen Keller

Herman Herrera

Business Horizons Readership Survey

We are always looking for ways to improve the Business Horizons monthly newsletter and are very interested in your feedback.  During the month of December, we will be distributing a readership survey via email.  For staff without email, printed forms will be available through your departments.  Thank you in advance for your participation to help us keep you better informed!


Herman Herrera was born and raised in San Antonio. He has worked at UTSA for seven years and recently became a Building Attendant II, assigned to the Engineering Building. Herman has more than 23 years of custodial experience and  hopes to have his own crew one day.

Herman comes from a family of six, with four sisters and one brother. His father was the head custodian for SAISD for 37 years and his mother worked at Santa Rosa Hospital as a supervisor. He has been married to Mercedes Zungia, who also works for UTSA, for six years. Together, they have eight children and eleven grandchildren.

In his free time, Herman enjoys camping, and fishing, and doing things around the home with his family.

Herman, thank you for your service and dedication to the University and Business Affairs.

Herman will be receiving a Roadrunner meal card to use for either breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Roadrunner Cafe, compliments of Chartwells.
Our thanks to Chartwells for their support!

by Business Affairs

Dr. Romo announced this week that the university’s participation in this year’s SECC initiative reached 62.2%, an increase from 54.8% in 2005.  This is a significant increase for the campus as a whole and it’s important that you understand what a large role Business Affairs – many of you – played in making this increase possible.

Business Affairs’ employees’ participation increased to an astonishing 79.2%!  Out of 491 Business Affairs employees, 389 participated in the campaign, a 46.2% increase from the 266 who participated in 2005.  This is a remarkable achievement when you consider that the total number of Business Affairs staff only increased 4% from last year.  Your response to the great need of individuals and families who depend on those agencies supported by the United Way reflects the good hearts and sacrifice of Business Affairs staff.  Many of those who are recipients of this aid are your closest colleagues and friends.

Consider, also, that out of the 36 departments comprising Business Affairs, 17 of them (47% - almost half) reached 100% and a total of 24 departments exceeded 80% participation – that is, two-thirds of all Business Affairs departments had 80% or more of their employees participate in the campaign!  This participation level is phenomenal – we had 31% more departments reaching 100% and 50% more departments with 80% or more participation than in 2005.

You answered the call with amazing generosity.  Each of my direct reports has received a participation breakdown by their departments and they should be further communicating the great success of many of their areas. Your awesome response and answer to the call for assistance is humbling and inspiring.  Please know how grateful the president and I are for your sacrifice.  I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of such a great Division and University as ours.


This Month in History

brought to you by

ITC Cultural Courier

December 11, 1835 General Cos' Mexican Army surrendered San Antonio to Texans following the Siege of Bexar.

December 27, 1836 Stephen F. Austin passed away.

December 29, 1842 Sam Houston ordered officials to travel to Austin and remove the records of the Republic of Texas for transport to the city of Houston. The bloodless Achieves War ensued.

December 29, 1845 President James Polk signed legislation making Texas the 28th state of the United States.



Survey of Organizational Excellence

As we begin the month of December, we are all looking forward to the holidays and the beginning of a new year.

 A new year is the most natural time for us to reflect and take stock of where we’ve been and where we are going as individuals, and as an organization. In order to use our reflections to move us forward in positive directions, we will be conducting the Survey of Organizational Excellence (SOE) for all areas of Business Affairs beginning January 8, 2007. Many of you will remember taking the survey in January 2005.

Since 2005, executives and managers have used the information gathered to strive for systematic improvements in these five important dimensions.

  • Work group effectiveness; including team and supervisory relationships

  • Workplace accommodations; including pay, physical environment and employee development

  • Organization features; including quality and strategic emphasis

  • Information flow; within and between work groups

  • Personal aspects of work; including job satisfaction and management of time and stress issues 

As a result of the last survey, each work group found different strengths and  opportunities for development. Programs have been developed, avenues of communication have been designed and team relationships have been supported with team building. To find out more about the specific techniques implemented in your area, talk to your supervisor!

We look forward to your participation and feedback as we continue to strive toward creating an organizational climate of Excellence. Stay tuned for more information during the month of December! And, thank you for your enthusiasm and interest! We are all each others customers and partners for Excellence!


HR recommends that all managers have their employees submit their vacation requests starting now to determine departmental coverage for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, to include the skeleton crew days in December. Please refer to the UTSA holiday schedule.

As always, all employee requests for leave during the holidays are subject to business needs and management approval. Taking action early can help the department provide needed coverage, minimize disruption and provide employees the opportunity to plan ahead.


Values Initiative

The University Strategic Planning Committee, in conjunction with input from various sources, has developed a list of University Values (Integrity, Excellence, Inclusiveness, Respect, Collaboration, and Innovation).

Over the next several months, we will organize focus sessions to obtain input from you on how we model these values in Business Affairs. We'd love to have you part of this important initiative. Watch for more information.


Business Affairs Promise

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals through excellence
in service --
every person, every day
 every job.

Promotion Celebration

Left to right: Chief Dave Hernandez, Cpl. Natal, Sgt. Carter, Lt. Padula, Cpl. Merritt. 

The University of Texas at San Antonio Police Department conducted its first ever promotion celebration on Tuesday, November 28, 2006.

At the ceremony, Chief David Hernandez was officially commissioned as a Texas Peace Officer. This added to a distinguished law enforcement career that includes over 20 years of law enforcement service. He was sworn in by John Slettebo, who is the Interim Director of the University of Texas System Police. In his remarks to the crowd, Chief Hernandez commented that police promotion ceremonies are rich in tradition and that this one was a first of many to come for the UTSA Police Department.

Sgt. Stephanie Padula, a 13-year veteran of the department, was promoted to Lieutenant and will oversee the Administrative Support Section of the UTSA Police Department. This section has oversight of the police department budget and provides other critical support to areas of police operations such as recruiting & training, crime prevention and fleet maintenance.

Cpl. James Carter, a 28-year veteran of the department, was promoted to Sergeant and will continue to supervise the security detail at the Institute of Texan Cultures.  Additionally, he will serve as the Accreditation Manager for the department as it goes through the process with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Ofc. Geoffrey Merritt, a 5-year veteran of the department, was promoted to Corporal and will, in addition to his duties as a Crime Prevention Instructor, supervise the Crime Prevention Unit.

Ofc. Ernest Natal, a 3-year veteran of the department, was promoted to Corporal and will remain in the Patrol Division as a supervisor on the third shift.

There were many distinguished guests in attendance at the promotion ceremony. In addition to friends and family of the officers who were promoted, San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus as well as chiefs from local university police departments attended the ceremony. Several UTSA officials attended including Mr. Kerry Kennedy, Vice President for Business Affairs, who gave a keynote address. Mr. Kennedy remarked on the rapid growth of The University of Texas at San Antonio and how the university police department will continue to play a vital function to the safety and security of UTSA.

Will UTSA Remain Undefeated?

Construction Update - Connector Roads

East West Connector Road (East Campus Drive). Planned completion January 15, 2007. This roadway will connect Lot 13 with Rhoderick Key Road to create an express shuttle route.

James Bauerle Road Extension. Planned completion December 2006. This extension to James Bauerle Road will create an access controlled service road connection to Lot 4 behind the Main Building.

We have managed to stay undefeated in football – because we don’t have a team; but, will that change in the next couple of years?  This is the question on the mind of many UTSA students, faculty, staff and community leaders.  The University recently received a final report from Carr Sports Associates of Gainesville, Florida., a national consulting firm, regarding the feasibility of eventually adding NCAA Division I football to the UTSA sports program. The report does not make a final recommendation about adding football.

Several months of additional review and study by University officials and the community will take place before a final position is taken on adding football.  Quotes from Dr. Romo: "The report is only the first step in gathering information concerning costs and infrastructure, but now it is time for us to meet with students, faculty, staff and the community before making a decision in the best interest of UTSA. For UTSA to consider adding football, this study makes it clear that doing so requires careful planning and an evaluation of available resources."

Since neither tuition nor state appropriations can be used to support the athletics program, the University will evaluate student interest in approving additional fees to support athletics. Not including start-up expenses, a Division I-A football program could cost up to $8 million per year.  With 16 sports, the University recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of its athletics program.  UTSA is a member of the Southland Conference.

"We are making great strides in athletics at UTSA," said Athletic Director Lynn Hickey. "I want to thank the UTSA Athletics Council and the individuals and groups who funded this feasibility study. I believe all of us are looking forward to taking the next steps in developing a blueprint for the future of the Division I program at UTSA."

Football.  Feasible or Not?  Much, much more on this topic over the next several months.  You can access the complete report at the UTSA Athletics Feasibility Study Web site. 

UTSA Negotiating 125 Acre Land Acquisition

Sonia Saenz
Facilities Housekeeping and Event Services Manager

Congratulations to Sonia Saenz on her promotion to Facilities Housekeeping and Event Services Manager. Sonia brings to this position the same level of professionalism and enthusiasm she exhibited during her eight months as Interim Housekeeping and Events Services Manger. Some of Sonia’s accomplishments as Interim Manger include: balancing the housekeepers workload equitably, working to address the shortage of housekeeping equipment with the purchase of buffers, scrubbers, extractors, and vacuum cleaners, setting up a service contract to keep equipment serviced, maintained, and repaired, filled over 20 vacancies in the housekeeping department, reduced operational costs with no impact to customers, utilized the savings to purchase two much needed trucks for the Special Events Department, and purchased stages and tables to also be used for special events.

Thank you Sonia for accepting the position and best wishes for continued success.


Please email us the new employees in your department, so we can add them to the newsletter mailing.


All requests to view or copy UTSA documents must be processed through the Vice President for Business Affairs Office. For more information, click:

The U.T. System Board of Regents recently approved the purchase of a 125-acre parcel of land near the 1604 Campus. The land will allow the university to expand to the west as the university continues its rapid growth. The Board agreed to provide $14.5 million of the estimated $20 million to purchase the land.

“This is an historic moment for UTSA," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "We are grateful to the Board of Regents for their support as UTSA continues its efforts to serve more students and become a premier research university."

The new land could be used for a variety of purposes, including athletic and recreation programs, parking, student housing, and other academic or research purposes. The acquisition will address the approximate 70 acre deficit identified in the university’s 2004 Master Plan and will provide the university greater flexibility on the 1604 Campus for construction of academic and research buildings.  Plans are being made to develop a new Master Plan for the 1604 Campus, and a timeline will be established over the next few months.

The land is approximately one-half mile west of the 1604 Campus, northeast of the intersection of Loop 1604 and West Hausman Road. University and U.T. System personnel continue to discuss and negotiate the possible acquisition with the landowner’s representatives.  The acquisition of additional land has been considered for over two years and talks about this particular parcel began three months ago.  There will be more to report in the next couple of months.

UTSA 2016:  Creating a Shared Vision

Last May, an open dialogue began about UTSA’s future. We continue to work to bring the University community together behind a shared vision. The shared vision, and how we can achieve it, will be described in UTSA’s strategic plan.

Lots of work has been done by teams of people around the campus to describe our goals, objectives, strategies and metrics in each of nine thematic areas. These areas are accountability, community engagement, enrollment management, faculty and staff success, globalization, infrastructure, research, resources, and student success. In early November, everyone in the UTSA community was invited to attend one or more focus groups to hear more about the strategic planning process and provide valuable insight and input into how we can achieve our dreams.

Would you like to be a part of the process?  Everyone is invited to review the draft team reports and comment.  You can find the draft team reports, as well as a survey, on line at planning/index.html.

With input from the UTSA community, the UTSA Development Board, and others, the teams are finalizing their individual team plans. The plans are due in mid-December. An overall strategic plan will then be crafted using the individual team plans, and a final plan submitted to UT System by May.

The strategic plan, together with updated mission and vision statements and core values that underlie all of our activities, will provide a clear path for all of us to follow in our everyday work. Together we can make UTSA an institution of public education known for access and excellence!

Pamela S. Bacon


Congratulations to all HUB Award Winners!


New Year
to All!