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UTSA seeks candidates for key roles in new School of Data Science

UTSA seeks candidates for key roles in new School of Data Science

An architectural rendering of the future School of Data Science in downtown San Antonio.

Dec. 13, 2019 — The University of Texas at San Antonio is embarking on an executive search to secure innovative leadership for the new School of Data Science in downtown San Antonio. 

The UTSA School of Data Science will be a nationally recognized center of excellence in its field. The SDS will be the nexus of advanced data activities both within the state of Texas and globally by attracting leading technology pioneers to serve as faculty providing real world research and instruction, thought leadership and domain expertise to solve the intractable problems in data science. 

The school will further solidify San Antonio’s status as the largest information security hub outside of Washington, D.C. The university’s 100-plus faculty members in data science, artificial intelligence, computer science and engineering, cybersecurity, cloud computing, statistics, and data analytics will be housed under one highly collaborative roof. 

With a new facility housing classrooms, laboratories and research space, the school will support the 12 bachelor’s, six master’s and three doctoral degrees as well as three certificate programs and other professional credential educational opportunities. A focus on connected classrooms and cutting-edge instructional technology will provide flexibility for course content delivery. 


“The school’s location in the heart of San Antonio will provide government, industry and community partners access to our nationally recognized programs and expertise.”

BERNARD ARULANANDAM, Vice President for Research at UTSA



UTSA has engaged Higher Talent to find the ideal candidates to fill the two leadership positions at this new school: the Academic Director and the Chief Data Strategist. A hiring committee of senior faculty members and university administrators will vet and select the final candidates. 

The Academic Director will lead the way forward in advancing data science research and education at UTSA and across the nation. The academic director will help lead and shape the academic content of the SDS program by working collaboratively with deans and faculty from schools and colleges around the campus. In collaboration with the Chief Data Strategist, the director has the opportunity to build the centerpiece of a dynamic new organizational structure that will enable faculty and students to work across boundaries to explore the foundations, applications, and implications of data science, information, and computation in a way that serves the interests of the public, the campus, and its academic community through a new teaching and discovery environment. The chosen candidate will lead the SDS as it expands into new areas of academic inquiry; infuse a data-driven culture throughout the entire organization by fostering data science across the campus broadly, supporting synergies that embrace the humanities and social sciences; and position UTSA as the university of choice for data science research and education by building cutting-edge opportunities for students unparalleled by other institutions. 

“The future economic well-being of San Antonio is very much tied to big data, data sciences, information management and technology, business intelligence, digital asset management and cybersecurity,” explains Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at UTSA. “Our nation, too, needs a highly skilled workforce to address ever-growing data intelligence needs. The SDS will answer that call to produce a new generation of technically advanced workers, and collaboration by faculty across these distinct disciplines will foster radical innovation to address society’s grand challenges.”

The Chief Data Strategist will revolutionize the practice of science across all fields and be at the forefront of next generation data science as it expands into new areas of scientific inquiry. The Chief Data Strategist will connect businesses, professionals, government and donors to partner with a unique, cross-discipline school to solve the country’s most pressing data needs. They will work closely with the SDS Academic Director to build and sustain an integrated transdisciplinary ecosystem across UTSA and in collaboration with the UTSA National Security Collaboration Center. 

“The school’s location in the heart of San Antonio will provide government, industry and community partners access to our nationally recognized programs and expertise. By giving students from science, engineering and business the tools and environment they need to tackle complex questions from multiple angles, there is great promise for radical innovation. And with its close proximity to the National Security Collaboration Center, the SDS will fuel synergies with federal agencies, and San Antonio’s Tech Corridor will benefit directly from the nearby supply of intellectual talent,” said Bernard Arulanandam, vice president for research, economic development and knowledge enterprise. 

Qualified candidates from across the country and around the world are encouraged to learn more.


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