Sunday, August 25, 2019

University provides July updates on strategic initiatives

University provides July updates on strategic initiatives

(July 18, 2019) -- In an email sent today to UTSA faculty and staff, President Taylor Eighmy provided updates on the presidential, strategic, tactical and academic initiatives underway to support the university’s strategic vision.   

Classroom to Career

Effective July 22, Ginnifer Cie Gee will serve as the new Associate Vice Provost for Career Engaged Learning. Dr. Gee has served as director of strategic planning and assessment for UTSA’s strategic enrollment division and in various roles in student affairs. She brings a wealth of experience in engaged learning, both inside and outside the classroom.

Research Excellence

UTSA continues to promote the Targeted Scholarly Awards Program, with several application deadlines in the fall. While coordinating July 2019 submissions to NSF CAREER, Cottrell Scholars and National Academy of Inventors fellows programs, UTSA Research received word of an additional NSF CAREER award. This brings the FY19 award total to five, for a total of approximately $2.5M in funding. The Academy Fellows Speaker Series will resume in September featuring Dr. Berrien Moore, Dean of the College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences at the University of Oklahoma and Director of the National Weather Center. In addition, focus groups are taking place throughout the summer to promote and gather feedback from administrators, faculty and staff regarding UTSA’s new subscription to the Academic Analytics Discovery Suite.

Inclusive Excellence

The Office of Inclusive Excellence launched a new interactive website to provide two-way communication and information while promoting campus-wide transparency on initiatives and programs related to inclusivity. In addition, the Inclusive Recruitment Committee in collaboration with Equal Opportunity Services, the Provost’s Office and Human Resources is revising UTSA’s Equal Opportunity Statement to inform job applicants that their information is secure, thus promoting anonymity and inclusivity in the hiring process.

SACSCOC 2020 – Racing to Reaccreditation 

This lap of the Race to Reaccreditation is nearing the finish line! The Compliance Certification Report was finalized to meet an internal July 15 deadline. The report will be sent out to university leadership for a final review of sections pertinent to their areas. Individuals involved with this effort will also be attending the SACSCOC Summer Institute later this month to ensure UTSA has the latest information on both the written and onsite aspects of the reaccreditation review.

Data Governance 

The Data Governance and Integrity initiative has been restructured through the newly established Division of University Planning under the leadership of Can Saygin, Senior Vice Provost for University Planning. Dr. Saygin and Kendra Ketchum, Vice President for Information Management and Technology, will coordinate the overall work in data governance, while primary software integration and customization projects will be assigned IT project managers to facilitate their progress. The Data Governance Council will reconvene in August to review key performance indicators and annual targets for 2019-2020.

National Security Collaboration Center and School of Data Science

Following a national executive search, UTSA has selected the inaugural National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC) Executive Director to lead this initiative forward for UTSA. Brigadier General (Ret.) Guy Walsh joined UTSA on July 1, following his service as the Technical Advisor to the Deputy Commander of U.S. Cyber Command in Fort Meade, Md. A welcome reception for General Walsh occurred earlier this month, attended by more than 100 government, industry and university leaders from across the country.

Human Health

Input gathering is taking place regarding potential names for UTSA’s new health-related college via a survey sent to faculty and staff in the seven included departments. Once the name is selected, paperwork will be submitted to UT System for official approval. A leadership retreat including all of the relevant department chairs will be held in the fall to kick off a visioning process for the new college, which may “go live” as early as spring of 2020.

Urban Education Institute

The Urban Education Institute launched its first season of granting seed-funds to support rigorous and actionable education research. Funded projects advance the Institute’s five-year research agenda on secondary and postsecondary education success. These projects cover a diverse set of topics: collection of ground-level air population data at San Antonio secondary schools; development of a survey instrument to create measures of student race, ethnicity, and social capital that better predict college behavior and success; development of a longitudinal database of neighborhood characteristics of San Antonio neighborhoods; and evaluation of a curriculum for teacher candidates in mathematics.

Institute of Texan Cultures

The Institute of Texan Cultures task force is developing a centralized business operations unit that will manage budget, fiscal services, purchasing, HR services, facilities and communications for the ITC, UTSA Libraries and UTSA Art Collection. This new administrative unit will be led by Carolyn Ellis, Senior Associate Dean of Administration.

San Antonio Workforce Initiative

This new initiative will promote continuing education and professional development programs for adult learners to support the city’s growing need for a skilled workforce. An initiative task force will be appointed next month to include representatives from UTSA as well as local business and community partners. The task force will meet throughout the fall semester to plan, with increased programming in spring and summer 2020. This team will focus on growing online programs, creating customized degree programs at the graduate level and providing specialized education opportunities through accessible, high quality and innovative instructional formats.


Learn more about the UTSA strategic vision.

Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.

Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.



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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.

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