I’ve very much enjoyed my “community conversations” this semester – these gatherings with various groups of faculty, staff and students have inspired good dialogue around my proposed strategic planning themes and where our discovery enterprise is headed.
Some great ideas have come out of these sessions. As one example, during my meeting with the Student Government Association a couple of weeks ago our discussion sparked an idea to add a new theme to the original group of five – one that focuses on student engagement and success.
One of the signs of a nimble organization is testing ideas soon after they hatch, so we quickly came up with proposed language for a new theme and added it to our strategic planning website:
UTSA will Foster Exceptional Student Experiences
Creating an atmosphere where students feel welcome, supported and engaged is key to our retention and graduation efforts. UTSA will adopt a student-centric approach to our academic and out-of-classroom experiences, cultivating a sense of community even as our student population continues to grow. In alignment with U.T. System’s Quantum Leap on Student Success, we will ensure our students have outstanding experiences in all facets of their academic and co-curricular activities, all while developing their sense of belonging at UTSA.
I’m looking forward to diving further into the notion of what it means to be an institution that fosters exceptional student experiences, especially given the work of our Student Success Task Force.
Anne Peters is ready to receive any thoughts you may have on this new theme or any of the others. Next semester I’ll be making more visits around campus to talk about some of the next items needing community input, such as our mission/vision, an institutional statement on diversity, UTSA branding and metrics for measuring our progress.