(Feb. 21, 2012) -- Twenty-four tenured UTSA faculty have enrolled in the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) announced by the university last fall. The program provides an incentive for faculty who choose to voluntarily separate from UTSA. Participating faculty will receive a single lump-sum payment equal to their nine-month faculty base salary.
The VSIP was open to full-time, tenured faculty, who have been continuously employed at the UTSA for at least 10 years and who met the rule of 80 (age plus years of service with a Texas state agency equal to or greater than 80); the acceptance period for the program ended Jan. 17.
Among those who enrolled in the program is history professor David R. Johnson, who joined UTSA in 1975. Johnson held a number of administrative positions at UTSA, including as vice provost for academic and faculty support from 2000 to 2009.
"Since I've already sped past 65, I was considering myself a short timer anyway," he said of his decision to participate in the VSIP. "The prospect of spending the last year of my career focusing solely on writing my next book proved too attractive to ignore."
Johnson is at work on a history of San Antonio's development as a city from the colonial period to the present.
Another VSIP participant is English professor Norma E. Cantú, who joined UTSA from Texas A&M International in 2000 to help establish the Ph.D. in English. The program was recognized by Excelencia in Education last fall and will confer its 20th doctorate this year.
"I came here to do a job and I've done it," said Cantú. "I hadn't even thought about retiring (before the announcement of the VSIP). … But, I have a real feeling of completion, a sense of doing what I came to do."
Cantú says she expects to continue teaching, researching and writing. In 2010, she walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in northern Spain and has plans to write a book about it.
"It's exciting not knowing exactly what I'm going to do next," she said. "Walking the pilgrimage taught me that it's not getting there; it's the steps along the way."
The separation date for the VSIP participants is Aug. 31, 2012. Participating faculty may be eligible to return to the university in a non-benefits-eligible faculty or staff position beginning spring 2013.
"I know that I speak for many of us in expressing my profound gratitude to these faculty for their role in building UTSA into a quality institution of higher education," said John H. Frederick, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "I sincerely hope they all will continue their relationships with the university."
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.