One of the advantages of layovers in airline travel is that, usually, we have time to spend in one of the larger airports and, often, those airports have interesting shops in them. In an airport sometime in the last year, in one of those little shops, I found a small book with a large print title: EVERYONE LEADS: It takes each one of us to make a difference for all of us*. Well, I had to buy it. It turned out to be a book of quotes around that simple, complex, important idea. Here is one of the quotes:
"The perfect bureaucrat somehow manages to make no decisions and escapes all responsibility." Brooks Atkinson
I've heard, just every once in a while, someone at UTSA use the word bureaucracy. Very rarely have I heard it used in a positive sense. The hard reality is that bureaucracy is what makes large organizations possible. Imagine what it would be like if we had no policies, procedures or processes. I know, your first reaction is that I just described paradise, but stop and think for a moment what it would really be like. What if every time you called an office to ask a question, the answer you received depended on the whim of the person on the other end of the line? I sure hope they aren't having a bad day. What if every question you asked had to be referred to another office and another because no one was willing or able to give you an answer. In large organizations, bureaucracy done well creates a system where routine questions are answered routinely and uniformly, where simple problems get solved simply and even-handedly. When that happens we have time to research the non-routine questions and to develop good solutions for the complex and unusual problems.
The quote above describes the "perfect bureaucrat," but it's only true if you see bureaucracy as a negative, as something gets in the way. Unfortunately, all of us in student affairs are quite literally bureaucrats – we work in a bureaucracy, don't we? Based on that definition, I would argue that we shouldn't try to be "perfect" bureaucrats. Maybe we should set our goals a little higher.
Over the past academic year as a division we worked to develop our shared understandings about what it means to provide excellent service and excellent programs. As we said we would in our Strategic Plan we have developed a conceptual model around those ideas. In the coming months, we will ask everyone to attend a session to discuss these ideas in more detail and to learn together what it will mean to implement them fully.
Here's another quote from this little book from the same page:
"Those who are willing to accept responsibility usually get it. That's how true leaders are born." Don Ward
Sounds to me like that's the exact opposite of the first quote. And it's what I am asking each of us (myself included) to do over the coming months and years. I am asking that we accept the responsibility that comes from working in a large organization. Any organization only works as smoothly and effectively as the people who are in it. So do we want to create a "perfect" organization or are we willing to go further?
Excellence in Service and Programming: Communicate, Connect, Collaborate, Create. These will only be words on paper unless each one of us accepts the responsibility to strive for these ideals. If you hear yourself complaining about your workplace, stop and look at these words and their definitions and honestly decide what you can work to improve upon. It's easy to say ‘they' aren't living up to it, but the only person we can change is ourselves. I firmly believe that when we as individuals reach for high standards it has a positive impact on others. Or, if you're having a hard day, ask someone for help. My experience is that when we don't get help it's often because no one else knows we need it.
So, let's strive to be more than "perfect bureaucrats." Let's accept responsibility for our own successes, and failures, and work to improve our own work and watch as leaders are born all over UTSA. Like the title of the book says – "It takes each one of us to make a difference for all of us."
* Zadra, Dan (2003). Everyone Leads. London, UK: Compendium Publishing & Communications.
The Division of Student Affairs launches our new initiative to use our common language to acheive division and department strategic goals. Beginning in October, sessions will be offered that allow staff to explore this model and their personal commitment to excellence.
VPSA staff will be contacting you with enrollment information. The Education Team looks forward to facilitating this journey as we teach each other excellence in service and programming.
~The Education Team
Chris Villarreal joined the Office of the Registrar on September 14th, as Student Information System Security Manager. Chris has over 9 year of experience working with Student Information and Network Systems at UTSA. Chris is a welcome addition to our staff family!
Student Affairs Staff: you interact with students regularly. Please refer students to Counseling Services when the need arises.
PDF to print and post
The UTSA Office of Business Continuity and Emergency Management and Student Health Services will present four town meetings, "The Flu and You," for UTSA students, parents, faculty and staff. See the schedule below of the meetings at the Downtown Campus and Main Campus.
Presentations will center on influenza preventative actions..."
For the full article, visit: http://utsa.edu/today/2009/09/flutownmtgs.cfm.
"The Flu and You" town meetings
Thursday, Sept. 17 -- 1:45-3 p.m., Frio Street Building Sam Riklin Auditorium (1.406)
Thursday, Sept. 17 -- 5:15-6:30 p.m., Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (1.328)
Friday, Sept. 18 -- 9:45-11 a.m., University Center Retama Auditorium (2.02.02)
Friday, Sept. 25 -- 5:15-6:30 p.m., Business Building University Room (2.06.04)
The 16th Annual Babcock Road Clean-up will take place Friday September 25 from 10:00am – 3:00pm. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to be part of this tradition! Shuttles will provide participants transportation from the Convocation Center and will pick up at stops along the route on Babcock between 1604 to UTSA Blvd., and on UTSA Blvd. from Babcock to I-10. Prizes will be given to participants completing at least one hour of service (while supplies last), and the student organization with the most participants will receive a plaque. Please come dressed appropriately for picking up trash wearing closed toed shoes (pants are also recommended due to high grass). Gloves will be provided. For more information, visit www.utsavoices.org or come by UC 1.216.
2009-10 Call for Proposals
Please be informed that the Undergraduate Orientation Advisory Board (OAB) is currently inviting proposals for modifications that might be made to orientation programming during the 2009-10 cycle.
Proposals intended for implementation during orientation sessions for students who will enter UTSA during fall 2010 and spring 2011 are due October 1, 2009 to George Norton, AVP for Admissions, Orientation and Family Programs.
The OAB is Chaired by Sam Gonzales, AVP for Student Services, and consists of representatives from teaching faculty, Academic Advising, Testing Services, Academic Support and Undergraduate Studies, Downtown Campus, New Student Admissions, Residence Life, Business Affairs, Student Government Association, Orientation and Family Programs and University Development.
The Orientation Advisory Board will respond to proposals with recommendations during November 2009 and, as part of their deliberations, may communicate with or hear presentations from proposal authors. The OAB makes final recommendations to the AVP for Admissions, Orientation and Family Programs and the Vice President for Student Affairs.
There is no mandated format for proposal submissions; however previous successful proposals have generally addressed the following topics:
3. Proposal Details/Strategy
Please submit proposals to Canda Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
The UTSA student travel policy, which serves as a guide for student travel, has recently been modified. Applicable forms and processes have also been updated and are available on the Student Travel Web Page including a new release and indemnification agreement.
Staff should complete any student travel requests currently in progress and then use the revised forms for future requests. Student Travel (SD 320) training will be conducted by Student Affairs staff on:
-Monday, November 9th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Downtown Campus in BV 4.304A and
-Monday, November 16th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Main Campus in UC 2.03.06.
If interested, staff may enroll for either session through TX Class. See the Student Travel Web Page at http://utsa.edu/students/travel/ for more information or contact Carol Gonzalez at ext. 4040.
Note: A communication piece about student travel is scheduled to run in the September 22nd edition of UTSA Today.
Twelve UTSA Ambassadors and their advisor, Pat Graham, attended the CASE ASAP 2009 Network Convention in Baltimore, MD, August 6-8. The convention theme of "Set Sail for Success" provided three days of learning opportunities for Ambassadors Cortney Blumberg, Juan Buenrostro, Aida Ghazvini, Maya Gonzalez, Ramiro Guerrero, Allison Guettner, Cesar Lopez, Harrison Pierce, Marissa Ramos, Ashley Simpson, Johnathan Thompson, Akshay Thusu and Pat Graham.
A major part of the convention program was educational sessions presented by student representatives. The UTSA Ambassadors presented two educational sessions that were well received by the attendees. "What about Freshmen? UTSA Ambassadors in Training" showcased the UTSA Ambassadors' AIT program, an approach the Ambassadors pioneered in 2006. "Magic, Chance or Hard Work: What Produces a Successful Program?" allowed the Ambassadors to demonstrate their organizational development strategies of recruitment, selection, training, participation and evaluation.
The opportunities to network with peers, share ideas and best practices, and build friendships allowed the UTSA Ambassadors to bring many new ideas back to the UTSA Ambassador Program. The 2009 CASE ASAP Network Convention was a fun, rewarding and educational experience.
Roadrunners learned how to fight back on Saturday, September 12 at Roadrunners Late Night. Heather Maggs, presenter from Fight Back Productions, shared important information with students about assault, how to recognize and escape from violent confrontations, and how to trust personal instincts.
The mantra "Stop. Leave me alone. I don't want any problems." was one of the first steps in the lesson for the participants. They then were up and learning the steps to fight back.
The Roadrunners Late Night event was featured in the Fight Back Productions blog here: http://www.fightbackproductions.com/blog/2009/09/remember-the-alamo/
For more information about personal safety and women's violence, please visit: http://www.girlsfightback.com/. UTSA Women's Resource Center is also hosts a variety of events for awareness and sexual assault prevention. http://utsa.edu/wrc/wrc/
The event was sponsored by Campus Activities Board, Women's Resource Center, Counseling Services, Be A Responsible Roadrunner and UTSA Housing & Residence Life.
For more Roadrunners Late Night events, visit http://utsa.edu/sa/latenight/
The University of Texas at San Antonio is a step closer to breaking ground on the first phase of planned $84 million UTSA Competitive Athletics Complex.
The University of Texas System has awarded a design team made up of HKS Inc. and Overland Partners Architects a contract to design and engineer the $22 million Phase I portion of the venue village...
For the full article, open this PDF
Please note that new Student Affairs staff will be scheduled to attend a True Colors workshop next month through the VPSA Office. "Training and Development TX Class schedule" sessions are for non-Student Affairs staff. Stay tuned to learn what True Colors is all about within Student Affairs.
Mecke tabbed Southland Conference Athlete of the Week
Webb repeats as Southland Conference Goalkeeper of the Week
All Sport Schedule - Area Events
|Fri, Sep 18||VB|| Middle Tennessee vs. Rice
|San Antonio, Texas||11 a.m.|
|Fri, Sep 18||VB|| Rice vs. Washington
|San Antonio, Texas||3:30 p.m.|
|Fri, Sep 18||VB|| Middle Tennessee
|San Antonio, Texas||6:30 p.m.|
|Fri, Sep 18||MCC||Ricardo Romo/Six Flags Fiesta Texas Classic||San Antonio, Texas||6 p.m.|
|Fri, Sep 18||WCC||Ricardo Romo/Six Flags Fiesta Texas Classic||San Antonio, Texas||6 p.m.|
|Fri, Sep 18||WS||SMU||San Antonio, Texas||6 p.m.|
|Sat, Sep 19||VB|| Middle Tennessee vs. Washington
|San Antonio, Texas||12 p.m.|
|Sat, Sep 19||VB|| Rice
|San Antonio, Texas||3:30 p.m.|
|Sun, Sep 20||WS||Baylor||San Antonio, Texas||1 p.m.|
• Where possible, please do process BEFs, etc., as early as possible.
• When routing BEFs (whether early or with normal routing), as always, please include back-up documentation (invoice/quote, PO, etc.) so the BEF can be approved. (BEFs cannot be approved nor routed forward without back-up documentation.)
• If BEFs are for future service, but are being completed around the end of August/first part of September, these can be routed for approval, but should not be sent to Disbursements until closer to the service dates*. VPSA will return approved BEFs to the department after they are approved by VPSA and then the department can send these to Disbursements closer to the service dates.
* Disbursements has many transactions occurring during end-of-year processing, so we don't want to add paperwork at that very busy time for service that is not in the immediate future. We do not want business to be "held" at any time of year, but special considerations should be given during fiscal year-end.
As always, Jackie and I are here to help. Please call or email us with any questions. It is our pleasure to work with you to make your business items route smoothly and efficiently. Have a great fiscal year!
Fitness Q & A
Q: Does fat turn into muscle?
A: No, body fat can decrease while muscle mass can be accumulated, but fat is composed of mostly fat cells while muscle tissue is composed of mainly protein and water.
Q: How much should I workout?
A: In order to get health benefits from physical activity, the new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends a total of 150 minutes of exercise per week at moderate intensity (enough to break a sweat, not so much that you are completely out of breath). Spread this time out over 3-5 days. For weight loss, this time would need to be increased to 300 minutes of exercise per week along with a healthy diet.
Assistant Director of Fitness & Wellness
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 unique way. Whatever the situation, contributions like this are made every day and Thank You Rowdy helps us recognize them.
Thank you Rowdy reflects UTSA's spirit of community and reminds us to remember it takes everyone to make UTSA a great place to work and to learn.
- Gage Paine
Thank You Rowdy is presently visiting with Diana S. Martinez
See past Thank You Rowdy Recipients
To: Diana S. Martinez, Student Financial Aid & Enrollment Services
From: David Longoria and Alejandra Gonzales, Student Financial Aid & Enrollment Services
When it came time for us to part with Rowdy, we were in agreement in selecting the most deserving recipient for this award. There was only one person that came to mind, a person that we felt stands out above the rest… Diana Martinez. We are honored to pass "Thank You Rowdy" to you for all your hard work and for showing us the "true meaning of team work". Although, there are many well deserving staff members in Student Affairs and in our office, (Enrollment Services/Financial Aid) who strive to provide the best customer service possible. One person we feel is above all else, a talented director, the heart and backbone of Financial Aid, is Ms. Diana S. Martinez.
Your knowledge and positive attitude brings out the best in everyone and we all strive to do our very best for you and the department. We appreciate how you take time to go over our processes with us and listen to ideas, and give us positive input on how to improve and streamline our policy and procedures. You empower us each day by offering us additional projects and training in other areas which benefits everyone especially in our busy times when it's all hands on deck. Most of all, we love your "cheat notes" you have provided for us to assist the staff when certain situations arise. There are times when it's very busy and lines are long and weary, it's very refreshing to see you there with us in the trenches with your upbeat attitude and happy personality. You're managing skills and open door policy makes you well deserving of this award.
Thank you Diana for everything you do.
David & Alejandra
Diana receives Rowdy from Alejandra
To: Rowdy Wing Fling Volunteers and Organizers
From: Curtis Odle- Assistant Director of Residence Life
RE: THANK YOU!!!
Rowdy Wing Fling 2009 was a huge success. It could not have been a success without your support and participation. Kelsey and I want to extend the most rowdy thank you we can for all you have done. The agencies met with countless students and provided such valuable information that I hope will keep our students safe and making good choices. The wings were great, the t-shirts were flying and the music was rocking. It was such a joy to see the sea of students mingling and packing out the event. In addition to the professional staff support, the volunteers really stepped up and provided the student support. Please extend our gratitude to your respective groups of students for their involvement. We can't wait for Rowdy Wing Fling 2010 and we hope to see you there.
Be Rowdy! Be Responsible!
Congratulations to Kelsey Bratcher, Curtis Odle, Melissa Hernandez, Eliot Howard, Francisco Lugo, and the rest of the Rowdy Wing Fling crew on an incredible job well done with RWF on September 2nd. Their dedicated and commitment to bringing entertaining and engaging alcohol education to our students! Be Rowdy! Be Responsible!
To: Sally Bench- Director of Registration and Records, Office of the Registrar
From: Victoria Jones- Associate Director of Career Placement
RE: Sally Bench
Please allow me a moment to deliver good news. Sally Bench has been a wonderful collaborator on a major project we have undertaken here at COBinternational. We developed a program that brings renowned international faculty to UTSA for intensive short courses. To accommodate international travel, student schedules, administrative requirements, and more, we had to find new ways of managing registration, scheduling, payments, and more!
With her expert knowledge of the system constraints and possibilities, Sally developed a solution that addresses all interests. She devised an elegantly simple plan based on an existing model. I was impressed that she quickly grasped the complexities and varied interests of all parties. I was delighted that she was willing to go beyond what has been done to consider what could be done. And I am grateful that she ahs been patient with us as we improve our own systems and schedules.
Sally has been professional, innovative and a pleasure to work with through every permutation of this project. She is one of the UTSA stars that is taking us to the next level. My congratulations go to you and my gratitude to Sally.
Best wishes to you both,
To: Pat Hedelius- Multimedia Editor III, Office of the Registrar
From: Victoria Jones- Associate Director of Career Placement
RE: Thank you!
I am writing to you briefly to recognize one of your employees for outstanding service. Patricia Hedelius assisted with a major project undertaken by COBinternational. We are offering courses in a new format that allows us to attract top faculty from around the world for intensive weekend classes. Patricia has worked closely with Sally Bench to set up special sections and cross-listings, etc. She has made sure the information is available quickly and accurately.
Thanks to Patricia, we have been able to develop an innovative new program that brings global resources to students here at UTSA. Patricia is one of the reasons UTSA is able to grow and innovate and improve. I am very grateful!
My congratulations and best wishes to you both,
To: Bryan Heard
From: Linda Gall- Fincial Services Associate II, Financial Services and University Bursar
I just wanted to share this email with you and to say that Bryan has always been helpful to me every time I call on him.
To: Bryan Heard
From: Leticia Grounds- Salyers Elementary
Brian was very calm as I vented yesterday, he is to be commended for remaining very professional and agreeable.
To: Lisa Alonzo- Director of New Student Programs
From: Karen Wood- UTSA Freshman Parent
Outstanding Parent Orientation
Ms. Alonzo, I am writing you because I would like to thank you for such an outstanding Parent Orientation and also the Roadrunner get together held in the Woodlands, Texas this past Saturday evening.
First of all, the parent orientation that I attended in early June was very informative, no wasted time and entertaining all @ the same time. I was very impressed w/ Mr. Ramos and his staff of student leaders. I came away feeling better prepared than when I arrived and it did a lot to relieve some of my "first time college freshman" anxiety.
Lastly, the Roadrunner get together was a lot of fun and we got a chance to talk w/ parents that (surprise) are going through the same things as we are. Not only did we get answers to our questions but we found ourselves being a resource to other students. Please continue the Human Bingo; that was a great ice breaker…
So, let me congratulate you on a successful staff and outreach programs. I am very happy and pleased w/ what I have seen @ UTSA and very excited about the level of excellence that my daughter will be exposed to, in and outside of the classroom.
If I can ever be a resource to you, please feel free to contact me.
Please submit all newsletter entries by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, September 29, 2009, to