Snapshots Announcements Spotlight UTSA Athletics

September 2012, Issue 17

Message from the Interim Vice President

Sam Gonzales

SPOTLIGHT on Sam Gonzales
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs
Associate VP of Administration and Student Services

Congratulations on serving as our division’s Interim Vice President!

Please tell us about your UTSA and Student Affairs work experience?
I have been in Student Affairs all of my life - 36 years. During that time, I served in a number of positions at UTSA, including Director of Financial Aid, Director of Cooperative Education, Director of Career Services, Assistant VP of Student Services, Interim VP of Student Life, and Associate VP of Administration and Student Services.

What is your management philosophy?
I have always been a strong proponent of the “Coaching” philosophy and I have tried to emulate it on a consistent basis. The Coaching philosophy has widespread acceptance in the corporate world. There are two ideas about it that stand out to me.

First, is the idea that Failure should be a learning experience, not a punitive one. Failure is the price we pay to develop leadership. You must be willing to take chances and risk failure if you are going to develop a dynamic organization. Personally, I have more respect for a person who admits their failures and learns from them than someone who hides failures and doesn’t accept responsibility.

Second, is the idea that a leader plays many roles: mentor, teacher, guide, and motivator- all for the purpose of developing people. People are the most important resource in an organization. I believe in professional development for staff and helping each individual reach their full potential. When you reach your full potential, you will be a happier and more productive employee and UTSA will benefit.

What does Student Affairs mean to you?
Student Affairs is uniquely positioned to implement the mission of the university. We support and are strong partners with Academic Affairs. And, we do a great job. We are here to teach and develop students, help them to engage with the campus, provide a variety of critical services and comprehensive and holistic programs to support students to become responsible and successful graduates and citizens.

Please tell us something about you that we wouldn’t know.
I really enjoy club dance music (Titanium, Lights, etc.), but I can’t dance to save my life.