Down to Business

UT System Chancellor Harry Ransom gets the ball rolling on planning UTSA's academic program.

Down to Business

With the ink barely dry on the legislation creating UTSA, administrators begin working on an academic plan

Within days of UTSA being created, UT System regents began the work of planning an academic program for the new university.

System Chancellor Harry Ransom put his newly designated assistant chancellor, Charles Lemaistre, in charge of leading the effort. Ransom, who said he was “bubbling with ideas” for UTSA, told the San Antonio Light newspaper on June 26, 1969, that his personal hope and dream for UTSA is that it takes “instant and long-range advantage” of four unique opportunities:

  1. It is located in a city that is multicultural—more than bilingual. San Antonio has a long educational tradition in public and private institutions.
  2. Inter-institutional cooperation has been proved possible. For example, the UT Medical School could not have been put under way so soon without real cooperation from Trinity University. Ransom hopes inter-institutional cooperation will be a real factor in the development of programs at UTSA.
  3. There is a tremendous opportunity of cooperation with the federal establishments in San Antonio, with their programs, ranging from aeronautical research to highly technical sciences. The probability is that the new university can provide training ranging from the most sophisticated research all the way to the technical levels.
  4. Finally, the new institution is going to have none of the disadvantages an elder college would have in experimental programs, such as the bilingual concept. “I am quite sure,” Ransom told the newspaper, “that this university will emphasize the arts. San Antonio is much less well-known that it should be for the development of the arts. Its nearness to the medical school and the Lutcher Center and the newly acquired Institute of Texan Cultures will fit into its programs.”

Ransom’s words foreshadowed those of the editorial board of the Light when they wrote in an opinion item titled “A Partnership” on November 14, 1969, that UTSA’s success would “require the harmonious cooperation of local governmental leaders with officials of The University of Texas System and a true partnership between the four-year state college and the existing private institutions in San Antonio.