January 25, 2013
The start of 2013 brings a new session of the Texas Legislature, with lawmakers gathering to address the state's many needs including higher education. I will be spending time in Austin during the session meeting with legislators to help them understand UTSA's needs and point of view. I also wanted to share some of those thoughts with you.
There are four key areas I am focused on: funding for faculty and student support programs, paying for new facilities to support our student population, financial aid resources for students, and state matching funds to attract more research initiatives. These directly affect student access and success.
Currently, UTSA has a student-faculty ratio of 26:1. UTSA's enrollment has grown by more than 39 percent over the last decade, placing a significant strain on available resources. Greater funding would help us hire new faculty and expand support services that enhance student success.
Another important issue is how we pay for new facilities. As we advance to Tier One status, it is vital that we have the classrooms and laboratories to accommodate enrollment growth. UTSA was built for 21,000 students, but we now have more than 30,000 students. We are asking the Legislature to approve revenue bonds to provide a much-needed $92 million experimental science instructional building.
Last biennium, UTSA experienced a 30 percent reduction in state-funded TEXAS grants, which provide student aid. With 70 percent of our students receiving financial support, we are hopeful that TEXAS grants funding will be restored.
Finally, we are seeking additional state funding through the Texas Research Incentive Program, or TRIP, to help match private financial gifts used to recruit faculty, provide graduate fellowships and build research capacity. This is critical for our progression toward Tier One research status.
These are a few of the issues of importance to our university and our city that we will be watching in the days ahead. I am tremendously grateful to the Bexar County Legislative Delegation for all its efforts on behalf of UTSA and to the entire San Antonio community for its continuing advocacy. Investing in UTSA is investing in our community.
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Members of the UTSA community have published “Adapt and Overcome: Essays of the Student Veteran Experience,” an important book to help active duty military and veterans successfully transition to college life. The event includes a panel discussion with UTSA alumni student veterans who contributed chapters to the book. Guests can also purchase the book. All proceeds benefit the UTSA Student Veteran Association.
Business Building, University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The Graduate School is hosting a panel discussion for all of our current students, alumni and members of the San Antonio community who are interested in learning more about graduate education.
Graduate School and Research Building (GSR 1.204), Main Campus
The annual UTSA Graduate fair gives students an opportunity to meet representatives who can provide the information on admission requirements, fellowship opportunities, and other key information.
University Center, Main Campus
A recruiter will speak to potential candidates for the Archer program. The Archer program has helped students land successful careers in public service.
Durango Building (DB 2.208), Downtown Campus
Canadian scholar Jasmin Hristov will present a lecture on paramilitarism, complex type of politically-motivated violence in different parts of Latin America. This presentation will explain paramilitary violence as a tool of economic globalization.
Buena Vista St. Bldg., Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
The UTSA College of Engineering Technology Symposium showcases innovative student projects and research performed across multiple disciplines including engineering, science and business. The public is invited.
H-E-B UC Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
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.