Message to Alumni and Friends
Dear Alumni & Friends,
The last few weeks have been particularly eventful, to say the least. With the lingering impacts of February’s winter storm, the 87th Texas Legislative Session well underway, COVID vaccinations rolling out and spring break season now upon us, the semester is flying by!
I’m proud that the many challenges of this year have not hindered our momentum at UTSA to cultivate big, bold dreams for our students, our city and our state. I wanted to take a moment to share a few updates with you regarding UTSA’s significant progress since I wrote to you last October.
In January, we celebrated the virtual groundbreaking of UTSA’s $90-million School of Data Science. Located in Downtown San Antonio, the 167,000 square foot structure will serve more than 6,500 students and 70-plus faculty members by 2022. It will also house two UTSA entities that are revolutionizing the fields of cyber and information security: our National Security Collaboration Center and our new Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute funded by the Department of Energy.
Near the School of Data Science, a former jail is being demolished to make way for UTSA’s proposed $161.2 million Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Careers Building – a planned expansion of the College of Business. Together, these new buildings will anchor UTSA to San Antonio’s prospering high-tech corridor and serve as a catalyst for economic and community investment in the San Pedro Creek area.
GOOD NEWS GRADUATION STATISTICS
The success of our students is always our top priority, and I’m delighted to share the latest data showing that more of our undergraduates are earning their degrees, and they are doing so at a faster pace than ever before. Over the last decade, UTSA has seen a 49% increase in the number of bachelor's degrees awarded, from 3,976 in 2009-10 to 5,924 in 2019-20. Over the same time period, the average time to complete an undergraduate degree dropped from 5.4 years to 4.5 years.
FALL 2021 PLANS
The increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccinations means we can optimistically plan for a fall semester that is much closer to the traditional university experience. We are preparing for a fuller array of on-campus activities and services and extensive in-person classroom instruction that capitalizes on the creative gains over the past year and incorporates the innovation and flexibility learned from online offerings into a traditional classroom experience.
As always, thank you for being a UTSA champion – our efforts to create bold futures for our students and communities couldn’t happen without your support.
P.S. It’s not too late to sign up for UTSA Alumni Association’s 37th annual Diploma Dash. The race is virtual this year, and you can participate now through March 27. All proceeds support scholarships for current students – I hope you can join us!