August 7, 2008
In This Issue:
Message from the Vice
Welcome New Staff to Student Affairs
Rowdy Travels Across Student Affairs
Message from the Vice President for Student Affairs
I’ve struggled a bit
with this week’s essay. In the online edition of
The Chronicle of Higher Education
for August 1st, there
was an essay written by one of their regular contributors. William
Pannapacker, who writes under the pen name Thomas H. Benton, is a professor
and this essay examines recently published books that espouse in one way or
another the idea that Americans are getting dumber and less intellectual.
The title of his essay
is “On Stupidity” with a subheading, “A cartload of recent books suggests
that it’s time to reverse the customer–service mentality plaguing academe.”
He also lists as concerns “amenities” and “administrative bloat.” The
article struck a nerve for me but in trying to acknowledge the places where
the author and I agree – education happens best in small classes, with
full-time teachers who hold and foster high educational standards – and
acknowledging that it’s possible to go to extremes in residence hall or
facilities design, it all kept sounding a bit strident. And yet there are
some points I want to make related to his comments. So I’m going to spend
less time trying to write about both sides of the equation and just share my
No, the customer is
not always right – even the retail world doesn’t really think that.
As staff we aren’t
expected to put up with rude and abusive behavior or say yes to
everything a student (or anyone else for that matter) asks for.
We are expected to be
courteous and respectful to the people with whom we interact at all
times. (If they are rude, we ask for help rather than try to out-rude
We should provide
accurate information in a timely manner and try to solve problems as
efficiently as possible no matter who ‘caused’ them.
We should get input
from students, parents, and the community in developing services,
programs and in growing this university. And then we make the best
decision we can while taking the multiple relevant factors into
account. (A student once asked me very sincerely, why I would ever say
no to a student initiative. My answer, in part, was that students,
while highly important, are only one of the constituencies I
represent.) The student voice is critical, particularly in the work of
Student Affairs, but it’s not just about meeting their stated needs. If
we don’t invite them into the discussion and listen carefully, we can’t
know if we’re achieving our objectives.
Yes, I know “we”
didn’t have it so “lush” in our day. As my husband put it, he had to
walk to school – 10 miles – in the snow – backwards! But let’s be
honest, most of us like amenities. It’s nicer to be in an office with
fresh paint and new carpet than a small office down a
Let’s also acknowledge
that when people talk about amenities, many, if not all, are in the
student life arena. News articles about residence halls that rival
luxury condos and multi-million dollar stadiums with luxury boxes do
make it seem as if institutional priorities are mixed.
So we need to be
thoughtful as we design new facilities and renovate older ones to balance
costs and expectations and sort out needs from wishes. Even more than that,
we need to be thoughtful in our decision-making. Is this ‘amenity’ the best
way to meet our education and strategic goals? And yes, students enjoying
their experience on campus is a legitimate goal, but we also need to make
sure we keep things in perspective.
This is more of the
same really. Yes, we need competent talented staff to work with our
students. But what is the right number? Ideas of what is enough or too
many will vary widely depending on the person’s experiences. The issues are
very stark on our campus. If we believe we need smaller classes and more
full-time faculty to make that possible, we have to direct resources to our
academic functions, and some other interesting, even exciting ideas, may not
receive funding. We’re lucky in Texas that our fee structure allows us not
to compete directly for resources, but our ability to raise our fees will
likely be curtailed in the short term by our need to maximize tuition
resources to meet our educational goals.
So, it is important
that we make decisions about our expenditures carefully. It is important
that we provide enough staff to be able to deliver excellent customer
service in our frontline service programs. It is important that we deliver
excellent programs that meet the personal, social and educational needs of
our students. It is important that we have facilities that are attractive to
students so we are able to continue to recruit students to UTSA. It is
important that we consider the educational and strategic goals and that we
are able to articulate them clearly to others as we plan and make
decisions. And we will never have enough money to do everything everyone
thinks we should do.
If we are thoughtful
and strategic in our planning, if we are effective money managers, if we
identify the appropriate constituencies to consult, I believe we can find
ways to do what we need to be doing and to do it well. Then, we
administrators are useful and helpful rather than so much "administrative
Then amenities add to the holistic educational experience rather than pull
it off center. Then a customer-service mentality is a positive
attribute and contributes to a positive experience at UTSA for everyone, not just our
students. And that’s not ‘stupid’ at all.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
by Thomas H. Benton
1604 Campus Subway moves to
University Center III
Business Procedures Tips:
For appointments or appointment changes in DEFINE, please note
these distinctions for using ‘P’ (permanent) or ‘T’ (temporary):
= permanent changes to the position (permanent change of position
= temporary changes that accommodate a person (leave of absence,
temporary change of hours, etc.)
More Business Procedures
Dr. Gage E. Paine presents Leadership Yoga class
The theme of the the new class, presented on July 24th, was to explore
and enhance leadership skills, such as the ability to be flexible and
find balance, through the mechanism of yoga.
Staffing needed for UTSA student Move-In
The move-in dates for the
four housing complexes, Chaparral Village, Laurel Village,
Chisholm Hall and University Oaks, are Aug. 22-24.
Staffing is needed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the three
days to help students transport items from their vehicles to
their rooms. A t-shirt and light refreshments will be
provided to helpers.
website is full of details about the special events set for
There are lots of opportunities to preview campus life and
experience the excitement of UTSA's growing campus.
Calendar of Events
Division Nametags Have Arrived!
The first shipment of
nametags/badges for employees of Admissions, Visitor's Center and
Orientation and Family Programs has arrived. This is a powerful first step
to the implementation of the Student Affairs’ strategic plan:
celebrates and serves students by making every interaction an opportunity to
affect positive change.
This is also a
positive step in the realization of our
The nametags are being
delivered to the AVP offices for distribution to Student Affairs staff.
A "Pinning" of the 1604 and Downtown Admissions, Visitor's Center and
Orientation and Family Programs group
on Student Travel
The student travel policy has been revised as of July 29th.
http://utsa.edu/hop/chapter5/5-18.cfm for the updates including
a link to the new student travel web site at
The Travel Management Office has also updated their information
to include a direct link to the new web site. See
The Student Travel Authorization Request and List of Student
Participants, Emergency Contacts and Activity/Events Leaders along with the
two release and indemnification agreements can be found in the Travel
Management Office subfolder in public folders. The release forms are also
located in the Legal Affairs subfolder. In addition, final approval
authority is at the Dean, Assistant/Associate Vice President level.
In the near future, training sessions will be offered.
Participation Needed in the 3rd Annual Rowdy Wing Fling
This September 4, 2008 marks the 3rd Annual Rowdy Wing Fling! Rowdy
Wing Fling is an event open to all UTSA students and provides a safe, fun,
and informative environment that allows students to gather in an
alcohol-free space. The purpose of Rowdy Wing Fling is to educate students
on the risks and consequences of drinking, alcohol abuse and dependence,
other drug use, safety and sexual health. We would love for you to join us
this September 4 from 6-10 pm to help us reach our students! If interested,
please feel free to fill out and fax the registration form. If you decide to
come, we will provide a table and chairs for any displays you would like to
bring and we encourage agencies/departments to bring any information that
you would like disseminated.
We truly hope that you will attend and we look forward to a very exciting
and informative event!
The registration deadline has been extended to August 15.
Event Guidelines/Registration Form
New Staff to Student Affairs
Edward Ortega - Transfer Specialist at downtown campus
Holly Tawil - Admissions Officer in Houston Regional Office
Kendra Kliesen - Admissions Officer
Career Services is pleased to announce the addition of Morris Ellington and
Morris is the new Professional Development Program Manager. Morris joins
UTSA after a more than 20 year career as Enterprise Rent-A-Car's Group
Recruiting Manager for San Antonio and South Texas. In that role, he worked
closely with Career Services and other UTSA departments and has been very
involved in student professional development at many Texas universities.
Morris' responsibilities will focus on developing and implementing programs
which will enhance student professional skills in many areas, especially
interviewing. He will also be developing programs and working with
students to help them better understand and be equipped to handle the
transition from college to professional life and what is necessary to
succeed in the "real world" of work.
Katharine is the new Recruiting Coordinator. Prior to joining UTSA she
worked with The Walt Disney Company. Katharine will be part of the Employer
Relations Team in Career Services. Her primary duties will be to provide
support and assistance to employers in establishing and implementing
on-campus interview schedules and recruiting events other than career
fairs. In addition, she will help the Employer Relations Team in Career
Services identify and attract new employers to recruit on campus.
Please join us in welcoming Morris and Katherine to the Career Services
Congratulations to Elizabeth Wiseman who was promoted from Transcript
Evaluator to Admissions Officer.
A year to remember
Courtesy: UTSA Athleticws - 08/04/2008
By Chris Sakuguchi
“It was a pretty unbelievable year.”
Those six words spoken by UTSA Athletics Director Lynn Hickey (r) summarize
the past 12 months, arguably the most successful year in the 27-year-old
department’s history. UTSA garnered numerous team championships, athletics
honors and academic awards, as well as seeing several monumental events
occur that will help take the program to the next level.
UTSA Athletics Website
Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services
Congratulations to the following staff who have been promoted within the
office of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services:
Christopher Goldsberry, Outreach Specialist
Erika Cox, Assistant Director
Thank You Rowdy Travels Across Student Affairs
Thank You Rowdy has a special mission in Student Affairs - to travel
across UTSA recognizing the good work of staff members.
Within the Division of Student Affairs, Thank You Rowdy is presented
from one Student Affairs staff member to another in recognition and
appreciation of work done well - taking extra assignments to provide
support, offering unsolicited assistance, or completing tasks in a
Whatever the situation, contributions like this are made every day
and Thank You Rowdy helps us recognize them.
To: Stefanie Cisneros
From: Pat Forsythe
Stefanie, I'm passing Rowdy on to you to celebrate the enthusiasm and the
positive way you approach your work in Career Services.
I've known you a long while now, and I am so proud of your successes and
achievements, including your ability to find the perfect match.
of your skills and abilities to help UTSA students find success in the
"world of work."
Thanks for all you do at UTSA.
You are phenomenal!
Stefanie (L) receives 'Thank
You Rowdy' from Pat at the UTSA Information Fair at the
University Center on August 5th
staff watch as Pat reads
Rowdy's message to Stefanie
Stefanie gets a rousing
applause from fellow staff members at the Career Services booth
Priscilla (Below R) reads Thank You Rowdy message to Pat
To: Pat Lynn Forsythe
It gives me great pleasure to pass “Thank You Rowdy” on to you.
In the short time I have worked within the Student Affairs area you
have been one of many staff members who has made me feel very
welcome! You have always been a great help whenever I have had any
questions or needed any assistance.
I know you’re one of the “behind the scenes” staff members within
the counseling area but you are a most definitely a key person
within an area who provides great service to the UTSA community and
I’m sure the staff greatly appreciates you and all the work you do.
I had the pleasure of working with you during the Conference hosted
by the UTSA Counseling office and no matter how small or large the
task you always had a great smile on your face and you had such a
great willingness to help everyone.
It’s great to be working with you,
From Eric Cooper
letter was received in Admissions:
To: Enrollment Services, Office Manager
CC: Supervisor April Gonzalas
On 07/31/08, I called Enrollment Services asking for a supervisor with
about what I thought were hidden fees under the account summary of my son’s account.
I spoke with Karen Pfeil who graciously went over every fee that was listed and explained them very well. She was very articulate, very well-spoken,
and very knowledgeable. For an employee to go through every fee and break it down like she did, I would say her superiors trained her very well. At
the end, I did not even need to speak with a supervisor. I could not pass up this opportunity to let you know how satisfied I was with
the services/information Karen has provided to me. I say to you Karen is a
to UTSA. Keep up the wonderful work you are during on Campus.
Student: Arius Brantley
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August 18, 2008.
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