(March 3, 2014) -- Is there a template for a class syllabus? When are promotion and tenure decisions effective? How can I get someone to take a video of my class or special event? How can I use technology to enhance my class lessons? How do I find funding to support my research? In the past, a professor would have had to contact five different offices to find answers to these five questions. Today, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has streamlined the process by launching the Faculty Center, a clearinghouse for all faculty-related information and services.
Located on the fourth floor of the John Peace Library on the UTSA Main Campus, the Faculty Center allows faculty to gather both formally and informally to have dialogue, collaborate across disciplines, attend professional development workshops, meet one-on-one with a librarian, and access a wealth of university resources to support their teaching and research activities.
The Faculty Center website offers a comprehensive online database of faculty-related services, resources, news and events. Using the Faculty Knowledgebase search engine, faculty can quickly and easily find answers to nearly any question. For enhanced professional development, a slate of faculty development workshops are offered at both the Main and Downtown campuses.
The UTSA Faculty Center is a collaborative effort of the UTSA Libraries, UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research and the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Support. The initial concept for the center sprung from conversations about developing a strong faculty culture at UTSA, an essential growth step for the university, which will celebrate its 45th anniversary in June 2014.
"The Faculty Center demonstrates that collaboration and cooperation is a useful and powerful tool," said Jesse Zapata, vice provost for UTSA Downtown and academic and faculty support. "It also shows our commitment to supporting our faculty. This is a great step forward for UTSA."
A sophisticated space with furniture and décor inspired by a mid-century modern design aesthetic, the 4,500-square-foot Faculty Center includes several small meeting rooms that seat six to 12 people, a conference room that seats up to 20 and a collaborative digital studio complete with the latest teaching technology. Each room includes advanced digital equipment to facilitate group work and interaction. It also includes a large casual seating area where faculty can have dialogue informally with one another or get work done away from the office.
Adjacent to the Faculty Center, the Assembly Room seats up to 120 and is a perfect space for lectures, presentations, seminars and other academic events.
"There is an abundance of evidence that indicates that learning and innovation occur when people connect, share physical spaces and exchange ideas," said Krisellen Maloney, dean of UTSA Libraries. "With the Faculty Center, UTSA has created a space that will enable and empower faculty to move forward in an ever-changing information environment."
The UTSA Libraries Faculty Services unit offers teaching/learning services through the Faculty Center that include assignment consultations, classroom observations and quick course diagnoses, helping UTSA faculty to enhance their teaching skills and implement innovative classroom engagement techniques.
UTSA is one of eight emerging research universities in the state with the potential to become Tier One. By focusing on academic excellence, faculty- and student-led research, and extending its reach internationally, UTSA is progressing toward Tier One status.
"The Faculty Center is an incredible opportunity for the Office for Research to access faculty in a new and engaging manner," said Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA assistant vice president for research support. "Being that the Faculty Center will be a meeting place that allows for cross-college networking, we also believe UTSA will see an increase in interdisciplinary research, which is critical to growing the research portfolio of UTSA and our advancement toward Tier One."
Through the Faculty Center at UTSA, the Office for Research Support will offer a comprehensive program for faculty in the area of research skills development. Each semester, workshops and seminars will be offered in areas ranging from proposal development and grantsmanship to research compliance and ethics. Additionally, the Office for Research Support will utilize the Faculty Center as a means to deliver messaging on funding opportunities, research conferences and other research-based information.
The Faculty Center was designed by James Hadden of The Bommarito Group, engineered by HMG & Associates and constructed by Journeyman Construction Inc.
The first dedicated space for faculty in university history, UTSA officials expect the Faculty Center, both the physical space and its accompanying online services, will play an integral role in faculty success.
>> For more information, visit the UTSA Faculty Center website.
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.