Wednesday, August 05, 2015

UTSA State of the University address reports on momentum toward Tier One

Ricardo Romo

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(Oct. 7, 2010)--UTSA President Ricardo Romo addressed students, faculty, staff, elected officials and guests Wednesday afternoon in the University Center Ballroom on the Main Campus for his second annual State of the University address. The 45-minute address detailed UTSA's momentum over the last year toward fulfilling its vision to become a Tier One national research university. Romo was introduced by Bexar County's Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio native and vice chairman of the House Higher Education Committee.

Romo spoke of his pride for UTSA's teaching faculty and touted their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to students in advancing their knowledge of the world and their chosen professional fields.

"This year we were fortunate to have nine UTSA faculty members selected to receive the prestigious UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award," said Romo. "After UT Austin, that is more than any other school in the UT System."

Additionally, Romo pointed out accomplishments within the ranks of research faculty and the university's commitment to continue recruiting the best and brightest and to build the infrastructure needed to do groundbreaking research. He also highlighted the 34-percent increase in total research spending over the previous fiscal year.

"Late last fall, we announced $46 million in research spending, up from the previous year's figure of $34 million," said Romo. "And, what is even more significant is when you look at our progress over five years, we essentially doubled our research expenditures. This is incredible momentum."

New collaborations with multiple private and public partners were addressed, in particular the 10-year, $50 million agreement between the UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and CPS Energy, which will help propel San Antonio as a national leader in green technology research.

"During the last fiscal year, UTSA raised more private dollars than ever before," said Romo, who thanked members of the university's Development Board along with visionary friends and alumni who are giving to help UTSA become a world-class university for world-class students.

"Both the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund and AT&T supported our faculty research this past year, Valero Energy is helping us recruit graduate students, and one alumni couple, Jim and Cathy Bodenstedt, provided $1 million for Roadrunner football. Now, that is what I call momentum."

The grandest announcement in the speech, however, concerned the posthumous $22 million estate gift from Mary E. McKinney. The largest single private gift in university history will provide financial aid, including full-ride scholarships, to students working toward their degrees.

"Some of the most transformational gifts begin modestly with the simple intent to make a difference," said Romo. "Miss McKinney, an accomplished woman with a master's degree, took some classes here in the '90s, and after seeing how finances often impede students from continuing their education, she set up a modest scholarship in her parents' name. What we were not aware of is that Miss McKinney had plans for it to continue after she had passed."

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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Events
Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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