January 19, 2007
Six months can pass so quickly!
We are in the midst of a pivotal time for UTSA. Students are selecting UTSA as a university of first choice and attending in ever increasing numbers. On-campus residents continue to excel academically. We have multiple construction and renovation projects that will greatly enhance our campus life and the level of service we provide to our students. Events such as Roadrunner Days, Best Fest and Homecoming have developed into eagerly anticipated campus traditions. We have recently improved our information dissemination to students through a redesign of our web pages that places additional services at their fingertips, including the capacity to submit a Student Concern Form on-line to our Student Ombudsperson. And most importantly, Student Affairs staff continue to play an integral role in facilitating student success.
I have been honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with you in this interim capacity over the last six months. Your hard work has made our progress possible. I greatly appreciate both your support and hard work!
I know you that you join me in eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Gage Paine, on February 1st. Having known Gage for more than a decade, I am confident that she will provide excellent leadership that continues our movement forward, and that you will enjoy working with her.
Have a great semester!
Reminder Regarding Student Confidentiality When Sending Emails
Some questions have arisen about our Student Affairs policy on not placing identifying information in email headings. Not having a student name in a heading can make it difficult to find needed information later – I have many emails titled “student concern”, so I agree there is a need for a change in our current policy. Here is a revised policy we’ll move to immediately – thanks to Joe DeCristoforo and Donna Holmes for creating it!
Revised Policy Regarding Student Confidentiality When Sending Emails
Student identification or social security numbers are not to be used in email subject headings. Student identification numbers (Banner IDs) can be used in the body of the email, but social security numbers should not be used unless permitted in accordance with BPM 66 (http://www.utsystem.edu/bpm/66.htm). BPM 66 states that social security numbers are only permitted when they are encrypted or are sent via a secure Internet transmission.
Additionally, UTSA’s Handbook of Operating Procedures (http://utsa.edu/hop/chapter9/9-35.cfm) describes the official “rules of conduct” that staff are required to follow in regard to the safeguarding of the social security number. For example, employees may not disclose social security numbers to unauthorized persons, misuse them, or even request them if it is not really necessary or relevant to the task at hand.
As a good rule of thumb, simply use discretion when including any other identifying information about a student, including the student’s name, in email subject headings for confidentiality reasons. (For example, it would be appropriate to say, “Karen Smith’s advising meeting” or “Tom O’Brien’s admission application” in an email heading; but it would not be appropriate to say “Karen Smith’s rape report” or “Tom O’Brien’s appeal of scholastic dismissal.” Information in these emails is obviously highly confidential, and it is possible that someone may inadvertently gain some knowledge of the email contents just by glancing at the information that they might see in the heading.)
Please remember that emails are subject to the Texas Public Information Act and Freedom of Information Act as public information and are subject to disclosure. Also, thought should be given to matters of a sensitive or confidential matter to determine whether email is the appropriate venue of communication. The use of a disclaimer may be appropriate in certain matters. Please see the following example:
This E-mail and any file transmitted with it are considered confidential and are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which addressed. If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible for delivering this communication to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately.
If you have any questions regarding BPM 66 or the use of social security numbers, please contact Joe DeCristoforo, UTSA SSN Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for helping to ensure student confidentiality.
Note: Minutes have not yet been approved. Please see http://utsa.edu/sc/ for a listing of all approved minutes.
Helpful Resources for Start of Classes:
As a result of the “pre-first week of classes” meeting this week, attached are links that you might find helpful.
The "Ask Me for Help Guide" should be used by staff to assist students with general questions.
The following information sheet identifies contacts for the colleges, departments/division, and advising centers:
The attached Registration/Add/Drop Time Frames chart outlines specific dates and deadlines and was previously distributed to the academic areas:
Student Affairs Main Web Site Launched
Don't forget to check out the new Student Affairs main web site. Also please encourage new spring students to take advantage of its many links to resources and the online, user-friendly Student Concern Form in the Student Ombudsperson section. Completion of this form will register an immediate concern and will be addressed by the Student Ombudsperson, Carol Gonzalez.
Highlights of the new site were presented by Edna Dominguez at the Directors Meeting on on January 11th.
To Suzanne Stokes, Transcript Evaluator for Transfer Students, who works in the Transfer Center part of New Student Admissions who received the Friend of Advising Award.
To Bruce Howard, Career Services, who received the Friend of Vice President for Advancement Award. This award is given to an individual or team that has demonstrated a cooperative spirit and thus aided the VPUA unit in its efforts in development, communications, and alumni programs.
To Kristi Meyer, Transfer Advising, New Student Admissions:
My name is Juan Moreno and I was
part of the CAP program last year. I had an unfortunate fall semester last year
and you fought for me to take 21 credit hours the spring semester to fulfill the
CAP requirements. Well I am at UT Austin now and want to give you a heartfilled
thank you. When everyone said it wasn't going to happen you still stood by me
and worked my schedule so I could succeed. I hope you and your family have Happy
Holidays and keep up the great work.
UTSA Counseling Services Presents 2007 Conference
UTSA Counseling Services presents Texas University Counseling Center Conference 2007 (TUCCC). The Pre-Conference on January 31st is titled A Comprehensive Workshop on Eating Disorders for Clinicians.