Thursday, September 03, 2015

Twenty-four UTSA faculty enroll in Voluntary Separation Incentive Program

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David R. Johnson and Norma E. Cantu

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(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."

 

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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