Restructuring of External Relations division
When a vice president leaves the university, it provides an opportunity to re-evaluate our organizational structure for potential operational improvements. In light of Marjie French’s departure last month, I have had the chance to take a fresh look at the functions within our External Relations office and assess the leadership needed to advance UTSA’s efforts in these essential areas. It is particularly critical that we have the right structure in place to position UTSA for success in our next capital campaign.
In order to provide the additional focus we will need in these key areas, I have decided to restructure our External Relations functions into two new offices effective June 1st: Development and Alumni Relations, and University Relations.
Development and Alumni Relations will encompass all our fundraising functions and oversee our relationships with donors and alumni. We will embark on a national search for a new vice president for this area, which will be run by Lois L. Lindauer Searches under the direction of a search committee of faculty, staff, students and external partners chaired by Mary Diaz, Chief of Staff in the Office of the President. Until the new vice president is hired, this office will continue to be led by Karl Miller-Lugo in his interim role as Special Assistant to the President for Development and Alumni Relations. We are grateful for Karl’s leadership and I have encouraged him to apply for the vice president position.
In order to best align their work with our efforts around research excellence, our Corporate and Foundation Engagement team will formally coordinate with our Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise, while continuing to report to our Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.
University Relations will house our staff dedicated to community relationships, including our work to build alliances with our federal, state, city and county elected officials. Our University Communications and Marketing and Presidential Communications and Special Projects teams will round out this new office for a focused approach to reaching our many stakeholders and audiences. Mary Diaz will serve as Interim Vice President for University Relations—in addition to her Chief of Staff role—as we launch a national search for a permanent vice president. In the days ahead, a search committee of faculty, staff, students and external partners will be named, to be chaired by Veronica Mendez, Vice President for Business Affairs. We will not engage an external firm for this search due to in-house expertise.
These two new offices place additional focus on the areas vital to UTSA’s future growth and 10-year vision. All our big dreams depend on additional funds for infrastructure and student success, stronger relationships with our alumni base across the country, and more support from federal, state and local elected officials. As always, I am grateful to the staff within these areas for the work they do every day to enhance our community partnerships and continue to tell our story in a powerful way, and I am looking forward to seeing them continue to excel within this new structure.