Office of the President

An announcement from the President’s Cabinet

October 1, 2020

We have good news to share! This morning Excelencia in Education is announcing that UTSA has earned their prestigious Seal of Excelencia for advancing Latino student success.

This certification is truly special on a number of levels. Not only does it reflect our purposeful, university-wide commitment to accelerating the success of our students, it is a testament to the hard work and advocacy of so many in our Roadrunner community.

UTSA is one of only five institutions selected this year, joining nine others receiving the seal in 2019 (the inaugural year of the program). We are deeply honored to be among this esteemed group of 14 colleges and universities nationwide. Together, we share a commitment to institutionalizing practices that successfully position Latino students—and by direct extension all students—for bold futures.

At the same time, we recognize that earning the Seal of Excelencia is a waypoint in our journey, not the final destination. We have more to do to fully embrace our identity as a Hispanic Serving Institution and cultivate an environment where students from all backgrounds can thrive. Our intent is to move beyond Hispanic serving to Hispanic thriving, with an unwavering dedication to be a national model for student success. On a fundamental level, all of the work we do to advance these goals benefits all students, elevating standards of excellence across the board for everyone.

It took deep collaboration by many throughout our community to achieve this milestone. Our sincerest thanks go to the cross-divisional team of faculty and staff that shepherded our Seal of Excelencia application, under the able leadership of Heather Shipley, senior vice provost and dean of University College. Once more, we are particularly grateful to the La Raza Faculty and Administrators Association for their advocacy. From the very beginning, they desired for UTSA to be exemplary in its service to Mexican Americans in South Texas, a population historically underserved by higher education.

This fall we are taking the next, important steps along our journey. Our just-launched Equity Advocacy Initiative will further inclusive learning environments within our classrooms and beyond. To capitalize on our progress and momentum, we will formalize a Hispanic Thriving Leadership Council at UTSA to carry our efforts forward. This work will build upon our steady increases in Latino student retention and graduation rates as well as our recent successes—accelerated through strategic hiring initiatives—to bring more Latino faculty to UTSA to serve our students.

As we envision the many milestones ahead, today we take a moment to celebrate. We invite you to join us in watching the Seal of Excelencia live-streamed announcement event currently underway, from 10–11 a.m., where the presidents from all five recognized institutions will offer brief remarks.

We encourage you to learn more about UTSA’s selection for the Seal of Excelencia on UTSA Today, where you will find short videos from just some of the many members of our community involved in this significant accomplishment.


Taylor Eighmy, President
Kimberly Andrews Espy, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

and the
President’s Cabinet
Myron Anderson, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence
Bernard Arulanandam, Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise
Lisa Campos, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Athletics Director
Joe Izbrand, Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications and External Affairs
Kendra Ketchum, Vice President for Information Management and Technology
Carlos Martinez, Chief of Staff
Rod McSherry, Interim Vice President for University Relations
Veronica Salazar Mendez, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Business Affairs
Karl Miller-Lugo, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Anne Peters, Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Special Projects
LT Robinson, Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students