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Our Strategy

UTSA 2016, The University of Texas at San Antonio Strategic Plan, details the steps toward becoming a premier public research university. We believe the road to Tier One status is paved with a focus on world-class research, academic excellence and international reach.

These plans represent an ambitious agenda in moving UTSA toward Tier One. Already, our university is home to many areas of excellence in education, research and public outreach. Our priorities for achieving higher levels of distinction include providing access to excellence, creating new knowledge, serving society and enriching our student’s experiences in an increasingly competitive global economy.

One of UTSA’s strategies is to develop collaborations and partnerships to assist in our goals. One of the first partnerships was with the military, which spurred the creation of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, now a component of UTSA’s Institute for Cyber Security. These types of external partners provide greater possibilities for our students and help ensure they are prepared for success in a 21st century economy.

Achieving Tier One status is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. UTSA’s strategic goals represent the long-term vision to provide momentum, propelling us toward the finish line. Our integrated strategic framework will guide us as we make important decisions to shape the future of our institution and the communities we serve.

Quick guide to UTSA’s steps to Tier One

Below we have outlined the steps and strategies to lead us on the way to Tier One status. We have already achieved some of the goals we set out to meet, and we’re raising the bar in some areas to continue to challenge ourselves. Read the full Strategic Implementation Plan or
download the plan.

  • Enriching Educational Experiences to Enable Student SuccessOpen or Close

    Strategy 1: Improve instruction of courses at UTSA

    • Expand the number of full-time faculty
    • Improve teacher development training for instructors, inc. GAs
    • Improve the evaluation of teaching
    • Expand the use of technology to enhance instruction
    • Nurture and recognize outstanding teaching

    Strategy 2: Improve student advising

    • Improve coordination between the freshman advising center and the various college-based advising centers
    • Engage external evaluators to analyze and improve the undergraduate advising system
    • Strategically increase the number of undergraduate advisors
    • Conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of undergraduate orientation programs

    Strategy 3: Strengthen and innovate delivery of curriculum

    • Review and address curricular barriers to student success
    • Broaden the experiential learning opportunities for students through study abroad, research experiences, service learning, and internships/co-ops (also, see tactic D-3-a)
    • Enhance the educational experience by
      • strengthening the periodic review process for each academic unit
      • reviewing and updating the core curriculum
      • strengthening and streamlining various major curricula
      • incorporating the three foundational themes and five areas of excellence throughout the curriculum

    Strategy 4: Enrich campus life experience

    • Assess student service programs for learning outcomes
    • Increase and enhance the retail services available on the three campuses
    • Complete the implementation of the UTSA Portal and use to improve internal communications across the three campuses
    • Increase opportunities for student involvement and engagement through enhanced on-campus programming and freshman experience programs
    • Expand campus residential opportunities
  • Serving Society through Creativity, Expanded Research, and InnovationsOpen or Close

    Strategy 1: Expand research and scholarly activities

    • Provide incentives and support for interdisciplinary/ collaborative research
    • Develop faculty workload guidelines that promote scholarly activity while fulfilling UTSA’s educational mission
    • Review and re-structure academic units to facilitate research growth and graduate program development
    • Increase support for faculty and students to participate in professional activities that contribute to UTSA’s mission
    • Make strategic senior faculty appointments to stimulate research development and growth

    Strategy 2: Strengthen graduate programs

    • Develop guidelines for prioritizing the introduction of new graduate programs
    • Increase graduate student quality, diversity, and enrollment through aggressive recruitment and retention practices
    • Leverage partnerships to expand/enhance graduate programs

    Strategy 3: Expand and optimize research space

    • Optimize research space utilization
    • Secure new research space

    Strategy 4: Develop improved research processes, policies, and infrastructure

    • Provide education and training of administration, faculty and staff in research issues
    • Align internal distribution of F&A revenues to better support institutional research development needs
    • Provide adequate IT support for research computing, networking, visualization, and communication
    • Consolidate grants and contracts accounting with pre-proposal administration

    Strategy 5: Develop research agenda for the five areas of excellence

    • Coordinate planning for graduate research with the five areas of excellence
    • Continuously align college and department priorities to support the designated areas of excellence and reflect in new faculty appointments
    • Establish interdisciplinary centers/institutes to focus activity and funding in the designated areas of excellence
  • Promoting Access and AffordabilityOpen or Close

    Strategy 1: Develop an enrollment management plan (EMP)

    • Conduct an analysis of alternative undergraduate admissions criteria for freshmen and transfer students
    • Conduct an analysis of graduate program enrollments and align effort and resources to optimize them
    • Revise, implement, and monitor the EMP based on analysis of undergraduate admissions criteria

    Strategy 2: Enhance UTSA recruitment efforts within the EMP

    • Aggressively contact admitted students to improve yield rate of accepted applicants to graduate programs (see tactic B-2-a)
    • Adopt more proactive recruitment strategies:
      • target qualified UTSA undergrads for grad programs
      • develop recruitment pipelines from other institutions of higher education, including community colleges
      • expand recruitment of traditionally under-represented groups
      • improve marketing of advanced degrees to working professionals
      • expand international recruitment of students
      • Develop an integrated marketing plan focused on the EMP
    • Expand and strengthen P-20, city, and community organization partnerships to support enrollment management

    Strategy 3: Develop admissions standards commensurate with student preparedness

    • Conduct an analysis of the impact of UTSA admissions standards on student retention efforts
    • Develop alternative pathways for students to enter UTSA, including community college transfer programs
    • Adjust admissions standards to reflect qualifications commensurate with student success at a research institution

    Strategy 4: Increase financial aid and scholarships to support the EMP

    • Conduct and implement an external analysis of current strategies for distributing financial aid
    • Expand on-campus employment opportunities for undergraduates through work-study, research, etc.
    • Implement fund raising campaign for scholarships, fellowships
    • Expand on-campus teaching opportunities for grad students
  • Serving the Public through Community EngagementOpen or Close

    Strategy 1: Develop UTSA’s infrastructure to support and expand public service efforts

    • Coordinate utilization of community services/resources through the UTSA Outreach Council
      • inventory UTSA public services
      • evaluate alignment with strategic priorities
      • recommend adjustment to mix of services
      • identify resource strategies, sources
      • explore Carnegie Community Service classification
    • Develop web site for community engagement activities
    • Develop a plan to recognize service conducted by faculty, staff, students, and alumni

    Strategy 2: Expand lifelong learning opportunities

    • Organize a robust central facilitating structure for all non-degree educational offerings
    • Organize professional development and lifelong learning offerings under appropriate colleges/departments to utilize internal expertise
    • Expand high quality lifelong learning for niche markets, from P-20 through end-of-life

    Strategy 3: Increase student engagement with the community

    • Set a goal to establish incentives for UTSA students to engage in “signature experience” (e.g. community service learning, internships, study abroad, etc.) learning activities
    • Establish a clearinghouse to facilitate and increase partnerships with the community for “signature experiences”

    Strategy 4: Enhance quality-of-life through community engagement

    • Implement a community engagement agenda annually
    • Raise profile of UTSA intercollegiate athletics programs for enhancement of campus and community engagement
    • Promote economic development through partnerships with community agencies, businesses, educational institutions, and research facilities
    • Promote the arts and humanities in the community through hosting and promoting arts events
    • Promote sustainability throughout the university as a model for the community
  • Expanding Resources and InfrastructureOpen or Close

    Strategy 1: Optimize, expand, and enhance space

    • Establish a comprehensive space utilization policy to improve efficiency
    • Align the campus master plan with the strategic plan
    • Upgrade and expand space, with classrooms, class-labs, office space, and library as high initial priorities
    • Identify courses with the capacity to incorporate distance technology and initiate a pilot program
    • Establish a building development process

    Strategy 2: Develop and align budgetary resources

    • Launch UTSA’s first comprehensive capital campaign
    • Implement strategies to optimize formula funding
    • Increase and optimize use of sponsored program funds
    • Develop appropriate culture and support to successfully commercialize intellectual property
    • Optimize auxiliary services to meet the needs of the university
    • Establish non-profit enterprises to facilitate entrepreneurial activities and public-private partnerships

    Strategy 3: Recruit, develop, and retain faculty and staff

    • Improve faculty search policies and practices to facilitate earlier offers and encourage diverse hiring
    • Develop additional (classified) staff and NTT faculty career ladders and expand staffing
    • Develop succession plans for all key positions and support leadership development for faculty and staff
    • Address faculty and staff compensation issues, including compression and cost-of-living adjustments
    • Support and maintain a more rigorous annual review process
    • Develop and manage programs to diversify, mentor, motivate, and retain faculty and staff

    Strategy 4: Improve and streamline administrative processes

    • Link the strategic planning and budget planning processes
    • Review key business policies and procedures, incorporating feedback from end-users and cross-functional units
    • Improve internal communication to improve operations and understanding of decision processes
    • Promote service-oriented organizational culture, administrative processes, and structure through incentives and rewards

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