VII. Appendices | Appendix B. Project Innovation
Outline of Sessions, 2007-08
Through the guidance of an informal advisory group, a series of Project Innovation sessions were conducted throughout the 2007-08 academic year with various members of the university community. President Romo has presided over a total of 14 sessions, including:
- five lunch meetings with deans to facilitate discussions on key strategic plan themes including Globalization, Undergraduate Experience and Success, Transformative Leadership, Diversity and Access, and Research and Graduate Programs;
- small group sessions with UTSA faculty focusing on our vision for service, education, and research;
- small group discussions with faculty and staff on our internal administrative and business processes, and the infrastructure and resources needed for fulfilling the UTSA 2016 plan;
- small group gatherings with undergraduate and graduate students from different educational programs regarding their experiences as student leaders, campus life, and on-campus housing; and
- sessions with mid-level UTSA managers and administrators to gain a better understanding of their daily work challenges.
These sessions typically lasted 1.5 - 2 hours and provided each participant with an opportunity to share concerns, challenges, and ideas for improvement with both the president and the provost. Following the sessions, notes were made available to the president and provost for further review, and were ultimately shared with Team 2016 to guide implementation planning priorities.
Summary of Feedback
The ideas and opportunities for improvement identified during the Project Innovation sessions provide a foundation for the transformation agenda that is outlined in this implementation plan. Over 200 ideas and areas of concern were brought forth during these discussions, many of which are reflected in the strategies and tactics that make up the heart of the implementation plan (and are listed in section IV below). Listed below is a summary of the suggestions and opportunities presented by participants. These have been sorted consistent with the strategic initiatives identified by the UTSA 2016 plan.
Strategic Initiative I: Enriching educational experiences to enable student success
- improving undergraduate advising b strengthening the communication between the Freshman Advising Center (FAC) and the college faculty and advisors;
- increase the number of undergraduate research and internship opportunities for students by establishing a central office responsible for working with industry and funding agencies;
- improve the communication and services provided to students living on campus;
- encourage departments to reduce the number of pre-requisites for courses to provide more flexibility in course scheduling; and
- help improve student preparedness by strengthening collaborative outreach efforts within the community.
Strategic Initiative II: Serving society through creativity, expanded research, and innovations
- improve the infrastructure for submitting and processing proposals and grants to federal agencies;
- optimize policies for the allocation and use of research space;
- develop a strategic alignment between the five areas of excellence and the development of graduate programs;
- improve and expand graduate recruitment efforts and increase the number of graduate assistants;
- establish multidisciplinary research centers and institutes to promote cross-college collaboration; and
- encourage more UTSA undergraduates to stay and pursue graduate school.
Strategic Initiative III: Promoting access and affordability
- continue to provide academic enrichment programs like the Tomas Rivera Center which helps under-prepared students succeed;
- develop a central unit that is responsible for creating more service learning opportunities for students;
- develop new ways for communicating with students outside of traditional and typical venues; and
- develop a recruitment plan that values diversity and enhances student body demographics.
Strategic Initiative IV: Serving the public through community engagement
- develop a more service-oriented disposition at UTSA with a focus on customer service;
- expand the service recognitions programs at UTSA for faculty, staff, and students;
- encourage more faculty to develop research and teaching partnerships with community groups; and
- establish a central, university-wide office for promoting and facilitating service learning projects within the community.
Strategic Initiative V: Expanding resources and infrastructure
- develop policies for improving the use of existing space (teaching, research, and administrative) on the three campuses;
- develop a career succession ladder for administrative staff in the colleges;
- improve communication regarding changes in administrative and business processes to audiences most directly impacted;
- review international travel policies and guidelines;
- develop a plan for hiring senior faculty who can lead research efforts in the key areas of excellence; and
- involve administrators in reviews and changes to business process and policies.