Senior Vice President for Research & Economic Development

Position Description

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)—a thriving, Hispanic-Serving, Carnegie R1 research university on a rapid upward trajectory towards becoming the next great public research university—invites nominations, expressions of interest, and applications for the position of Senior Vice President for Research and Economic Development (SVPR). This is a rare opportunity for a visionary and ambitious leader to strengthen a burgeoning knowledge enterprise, align research and economic development activities for the benefit of the institution and surrounding region, and develop the institution’s culture as it embodies its newly achieved status as an R1 research university.

Read the full job description here »

The Vision for UTSA's Research Enterprise

UTSA has evolved significantly as a discovery enterprise in recent years. With that evolution, several important foundations are already in place to align with our recognition as a Carnegie R1 research university.

  • Our faculty comes to us from Carnegie R1 and AAU institutions, and several faculty members belong to the National Academies and win other nationally prestigious awards for their research, scholarship and creative activity.
  • Based on the the NRUF eligibility review of five of our doctoral programs with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, our faculty scholarship on a per headcount basis compares favorably with the very best research universities in the U.S.
  • We partner and collaborate closely with UT Health San Antonio, Texas Biomed and Soutwest Research Institute on precision therapeutics, robotics, space sciences, health disparities, and many more topical areas. We work closely with San Antonio Military Health System and Brooks Army Medical Center, the U.S. Military’s premier medical research center.
  • We are situated in one of the largest federal national security ecosystems in the country tied to cybersecurity and data science.
  • We lead one of 16 federal Manufacturing Innovation Institutes to meet the national need. Our efforts tie closely to economic development, job creation and workforce development.
  • Most importantly, our faculty scholarship on brain health, infectious diseases, cybersecurity, data science, public health, public policy, social science, creative arts, energy policy and urban design is deeply impact to our community.

At this point in UTSA's trajectory, it is critical to build on and fortify these foundations and contemplate how we advance our culture of discovery and impact. We have great opportunities to tackle the grand challenges in San Antonio, throughout South Texas and beyond. As we continue to grow our faculty, we are poised to more fully embrace transdisciplinary discovery, team science, student and postdoctoral engagement and translational research. We also have an opportunity to expand our focus on doctoral education, applied research development and design of of new collaborative consortium models that leverage our national and global partnerships. We plan to achieve these areas of focus by building more robust support systems including expanded research administration, core facilities, specialized equipment and research space to advance faculty and team growth. Moreover, as San Antonio’s R1 research university, we are poised to drive discovery, technology development and technology translation for public benefit. We have the opportunity to fully embrace the entire culture of research excellence.

Also fundamental to realizing our ambition as a great public research university is our needed focus on excellence in graduate and postdoctoral education. Great public research universities train the next generation of scholars and innovators, where our growth in research is intertwined with, and mutually supportive of, advancing graduate education. The new senior vice president will work closely with the Provost, Academic Affairs colleagues and college leaders on faculty development, graduate training, faculty hiring, scholarly evaluation and strategy to advance excellence in doctoral education befitting an R1 university.

Further, another key element of UTSA's urban serving mission is workforce development for San Antonio and the South Texas region. We can directly help drive economic opportunity by expanding applied and professionally-oriented masters training and workforce-oriented certificates in alignment with regional economic development and industry needs. As the senior vice president will provide leadership for the intersection of industry strategy and graduate education, this new leader will also coordinate closely with the Provost and her team in these areas of responsibility. 

Application and Nomination Process

The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applicants must submit: a current resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest in the position. Nomination letters should include the name, position, address and telephone number of the nominee. All applications and nominations will be handled in confidence.

Applications and letters of nomination:

UTSA has retained the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist in this search. All applications, nominations, and inquiries should be submitted in confidence through the Isaacson, Miller website:

Questions may be submitted to:

Kimberly Andrews Espy
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Reference code "UTSA-Senior Vice President for Research & Economic Development" in the subject line

Search Committee Members

President Eighmy has appointed a committee of faculty, staff, and student leaders to conduct the search. 

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

Noor Al Chaabawi
Undergraduate senior in biology, representing the UTSA Student Government Association

Myron Anderson
Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

Lynn Barnes
Senior Vice Provost, Strategic Enrollment

JoAnn Browning
Dean, Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design

Natasha Burns
Professor, Department of Finance, Alvarez College of Business

Janis Bush
Professor and Department Chair, Department of Integrative Biology, representing the UTSA Departmental Chairs’ Council

Krystel Castillo
GreenStar Endowed Professor of Mechanical Engineering in Energy, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Member of the Academy of Distinguished Researchers

Brandy V. Garcia
Senior Director, Admissions Operations, representing the Staff Senate

Howard Grimes
Chief Executive Officer, CyManII

Jamon Halvaksz
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Jenny Hsieh
Semmes Foundation Distinguished Chair in Cell Biology, Professor and Chair, Department of Neuroscience, Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Director, UTSA Brain Health Consortium

Dhireesha Kudithipudi
Founding Director, Matrix AI Consortium, Robert F. McDermott Endowed Chair and Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Chad Mahood
Associate Professor, Department of Communication, representing the Faculty Senate

Glenn Martinez
Dean, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Ambika Mathur
Vice Provost of Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate School

Alex Mejia
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering & Department of Bilingual-Bicultural Studies, Klesse College of Engineering & Integrated Design and College of Education & Human Development

Karl Miller-Lugo
Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

David Mongeau
Founding Director, School of Data Science

Kelly Nash
Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Associate Dean for Faculty Success, College of Sciences

Jennifer Potter
Vice President for Research, UT Health San Antonio

Al Salgado
Assistant Vice President for Small Business and Community Engagement, Executive Director, Texas South-West Small Business Development Center Network

Jaclyn Shaw
Associate Vice President for Strategic Research Initiatives

David Silva
Dean, College of Science

Erica Sosa
Associate Dean for Research, College of Health, Community and Policy

Heather Trepal
Professor, Department of Counseling, Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Student Success, College of Education and Human Development

Mario Vela
Assistant Vice Provost for Career Engaged Learning, Executive Director of the University Career Center

External Advisory Council

A subcommittee of community leaders has been appointed to contribute to candidate evaluation and provide advice as a part of the search process:

Bobby Blount
Site Lead at MITRE CORP

Reggie Brothers

Walt Downing
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Southwest Research Institute

Kate Kinnison
R&D Administrator, City of San Antonio, Office of Innovation

Jim Perscbach
President and CEO, Port San Antonio

Jenna Saucedo-Hererra
Executive Director, Greater:SATX

Joanne Turner
Vice President for Research, Texas Biomedical Research Institute

About the Executive Search Firm

Isaacson, Miller, a search firm with deep experience recruiting higher education leadership, will assist the search committee in their work to identify and recruit high-caliber candidates. Isaacson, Miller was founded in 1982 with a clear and ambitious mission: to strengthen and diversify leadership in the civic sector and higher education. The commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion was fundamental to the creation of the firm, and continues today as the bedrock of their values and culture. David Bellshaw, partner, and Vijay Saraswat, associate, will be the principals leading the search process.

This is a security sensitive position. Employment is contingent upon a successful background check. 

UTSA is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


May 2022
•  Position posted

2022-2023 Academic Year
• Target for Senior Vice President for Research & Economic Development appointment announcement

*  All dates subject to change