I am writing today to announce two strategic initiatives rolling out this fall, both of which are key to institutional sustainability and fiscal health. As mentioned in yesterday’s email, the way we manage our resources is more important now than ever given reduced funding for public higher education, inflation and increased operating costs.
Strategic Initiative on Tuition and Fees
As our primary sources of revenue, tuition and fees enable us to provide our students with outstanding academic experiences. Our aspiration to be an exemplary urban-serving university and multicultural discovery enterprise depend on sufficient revenue streams. However, any proposed tuition increase needs careful consideration within the context of affordability and access. We must balance the ability to fund our student success and faculty hiring initiatives with potential impact on students’ ability to attend UTSA.
The Tuition and Fees Committee will explore all avenues related to our tuition structure, including innovative models such as differential tuition and guaranteed-rate plans. It will also examine the market forces that influence our competitiveness, and how we compare to our peer institutions in San Antonio and in Texas.
Following the guidelines laid out by The University of Texas System regarding transparency, the committee will seek input from UTSA’s internal and external stakeholders as part of their consultative process. This includes an open forum taking place on November 6 at 2:00 p.m. in the Retama Auditorium, providing the UTSA community with an opportunity for dialogue. Committee members will carefully weigh this input with the many factors involved in determining the tuition rates that will best help us to meet our goals.
Strategic Initiative on Weighted Student Credit Hour Optimization
Much of our support from the state of Texas during each budget biennium comes from formula funding. Our share of the formula funding pie is relative to other academic institutions and comes from our fraction of weighted student credit hour (WSCH) production during a specified counting year.
The WSCH Optimization Committee will explore, develop and recommend strategies to maximize WSCH production at UTSA. Next summer marks the beginning of the base year in which our student credit hours will be counted, driving the immediacy of this committee’s work.
Key to this effort will be an examination of approaches to optimize course enrollments. Additionally, the committee will look at other nuances influencing the formula, such as ensuring our courses are properly coded to reflect their content.
Most importantly, the WSCH Optimization Committee will align closely with our Strategic Enrollment and Student Success Initiatives. As you may have surmised, the interconnectedness of the five initiatives launched this semester is intentional. All this synergy and talent working toward our common goals will result in great strides for UTSA.
Both of these strategic initiatives will be co-chaired by Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Mauli Agrawal and Vice President for Business Affairs Kathy Funk-Baxter. Both also play leadership roles in all three President’s Initiatives. You will find additional information, including a complete list of committee members, their charges and timelines, on the Strategic Initiatives website.
I am incredibly optimistic about UTSA’s future. The work we are doing now to align our fiscal plan to our strategic goals will position us to achieve new heights. Though we have much to do, I have complete trust in all of you as we work together to launch UTSA’s newest chapter.
With appreciation for all you do,