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Office of the President

Presidential initiative on the campus master plan

June 25, 2018
Presidential initiative on the campus master plan

Dear Roadrunners,

When imagining UTSA ten years from now, envision an institution serving upwards of 45,000 unstoppable students pursuing their higher education dreams, with over 2,000 faculty acting as their guides and champions.

Some of this learning will be delivered in virtual spaces, but our vision depends considerably on our ability to offer classroom instruction and world-class research in our bricks-and-mortar campus facilities. Growing our campuses must be done very thoughtfully, with the right data in hand and with the input of our many stakeholders. Moreover, we are required by UT System to do campus master plans periodically and fortuitously, we are at that point again.

To move us forward, I am pleased to announce the launch of the Presidential Initiative on the Campus Master Plan. Under the leadership of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy, this task force will establish a framework for the development of UTSA’s campuses over the next decade.

Assisting the task force will be Page, a highly-respected architecture firm with vast experience developing master plans for universities around the world. Some of you may remember Page as the architects of our North Paseo Building on the Main Campus.

Master plan priorities will be determined over the course of the initiative, considering needs such as:

  • Academic classrooms, research facilities and engagement spaces
  • Student housing
  • Athletics facilities
  • Intramural and recreational facilities
  • Livability, walkability and sustainability
  • Public-private partnership development opportunities
  • Parking facilities
  • Campus circulation (pedestrian and multimodal transportation)
  • Wayfinding
  • Environmental impact
  • Utility infrastructure expansion
  • Security and safety

Creating a master plan with staying power is a process that can’t be rushed. The timeline for this initiative spans an entire calendar year but builds in plentiful opportunities for internal and external community engagement.

This is where we can use your help. In the next few months, the task force will hold meetings with UTSA faculty, staff and students to gather input and information regarding space use. There will be several opportunities for all Roadrunners to share their thoughts, including a campus-wide survey and at least two open forums.

Taking the time to hear from our external stakeholders is equally important. This will be the case for both our Downtown and Main Campuses, including our Park West property.  

As one of our first steps, UTSA has partnered with the Urban Land Institute to conduct a visioning session with larger institutions interested in the economic development of San Antonio’s near Westside. Moreover, our work with Page will involve conversations with private property owners, civic organizations and neighborhood groups in the near Westside. The results—which will start to become available in August—will inform the guiding principles for our Downtown Campus master planning efforts.

In the weeks to come we will launch a separate presidential initiative for our Hemisfair Park Campus and the Institute of Texan Cultures. As part of this effort, we will bring in a museum consultant to assess the best options for the institute, its location and its collections.

This overall master planning initiative will not only shape UTSA’s physical presence, but also our integration with the city of San Antonio. Most importantly, the master plan will help us to create campus environments that inspire cogitation and discovery, furthering our ability to serve our students and solve society’s grandest challenges as San Antonio’s university for the world.  

With appreciation,

Taylor Eighmy