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Shaping the Future of Artificial Intelligence, Cyber, Computing, and Data Science at UTSA

Current StatusIn Progress


At UTSA, we're pioneering the future with an ambitious initiative that aims to redefine the landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, computing, and data science. The university’s leadership in these critical areas is driven by strategic goals to achieve national recognition as a great public research university that is future-oriented, urban-serving and highly diverse.


UTSA is an early adopter of cutting-edge disciplines, as evidenced by the launch of its School of Data Science in 2018—one of only three such schools in the nation. To facilitate growth, UTSA built a new home for the school in downtown San Antonio—San Pedro I—creating a vibrant core that crosses multiple colleges. UTSA has grown that core to more than 1,000 students and researchers as well as created space for hosting national industry competitions and conferences to elevate the university’s reputation.

Now, as opportunity and interest in these fields increase, so are UTSA’s efforts. A new college focused on AI, cyber, computing and data science will meet these evolving needs, as well focus and amplify existing academic programs:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Applied statistics
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data analytics
  • Statistics and data science


Through this initiative, the university will establish a cutting-edge college, harnessing the exponential growth in these fields to propel our students and researchers into a future of limitless possibilities:

  • Better prepare students for the evolving landscape of these fields.
  • Increase visibility and synergies among programs
  • Leverage expansion opportunities in downtown San Antonio, solidifying UTSA's presence in San Pedro I and II

UTSA Trends


UTSA students pursuing AI, cyber and data science degrees


increase in UTSA students seeking these degrees since 2019


UTSA students graduated with these degrees in the last academic year

National and Worldwide Trends

5M jobs

requiring skills in data sciences, AI/machine learning, cloud computing, cybersecurity, product management, and digital social media created in 2022


jobs open worldwide in data science & cyber

*Cybersecurity ventures


jobs open in the U.S. in data science & cyber



increase in data science jobs 2021–2031

*US Bureau of Labor Statistics


increase in cyber security jobs 2021–2031

*US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Task Force Charge

  1. Consider the landscape of UTSA student interests, regional, state, and national workforce needs and partnering opportunities, and multidisciplinary research opportunities related to AI, cyber, computing and data science — from science to policy
  2. Recommend a college organizational structure that aligns AI, cyber, computing and data science related programs to enhance student success, career readiness and partnering opportunities, transdisciplinary research and funding competitiveness.


January 2024: Initiative launch.

January–March 2024: (Phase 1) Data gathering. Subcommittees will compile an inventory of existing programs, gather data on related scholarship, hold focus groups, and explore best practices at peer institutions.

April–May 2024: (Phase II) Recommendations. Task Force will translate findings into multiple options for a new college structure, subject to review and discussion by the campus community.

June 2024: The Task Force will deliver its final report outlining specific recommendations for a new organizational structure to enhance student success, career readiness, and transdisciplinary research.

Fall 2024: (Phase III) Discussion with potentially impacted faculty and other stakeholders based on outcomes of Phases I & II


Have a question, comment, or feedback for this Task Force? Use the form below (UTSA login required), or email provost@utsa.edu.  You're also welcome to speak with task force members to share your input.

Share your insights to the Task Force 

Task Force Members

Jonathon Halbesleben
Dean, Alvarez College of Business

Jianwei Niu 
Interim Dean, University College

Adel Alaeddini
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Nicole Beebe
Interim Associate Vice President, Strategic Research Development and Assistant Vice President for Faculty Research Development in the Office for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise

Eric Brey
Interim Dean, Klesse College of Engineering

Rebecca Bria
Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Gabriela Ciocarlie
Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
CyManII representative

Ginny Garcia
Associate Professor, Sociology and Demography
Faculty Senate representative

Cie Gee
Associate Vice Provost, Career-Engaged Learning

Mitra Hosseini
Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department

Dhireesha Kudithipudi
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Charles Liu
Professor and Interim Department Chair, Information Systems and Cyber Security
Department Chairs Council representative

Chad Mahood
Associate Professor, Communication
Department Chairs Council representative

Panagiotis Markopoulos
Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science

Fred Martin
Professor and Department Chair, Computer Science
Department Chairs Council representative

Rita Mitra
Professor of Practice, Information Systems and Cyber Security
FTT representative

Hunter Pfeiffer
Real Estate Analyst & Asset Manager, Real Estate and Property Management
Staff representative

Jeff Prevost
Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Faculty Senate representative

CJ Qian
Professor and Department Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department Chairs Council representative

John Quarles
Professor, Computer Science
Faculty Senate representative

Paul Rad
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Arkajyoti Roy
Assistant Professor, Management Science and Statistics

Vanessa Sansone
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies  

Fidel Santamaria
Professor, Neuroscience, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology

Rebecca Schroeder  
Interim Associate Dean, University College
FTT representative

Wenbo Wu
Associate Professor and Department Chair, Management Science and Statistics
Department Chairs Council representative

Pragyan K C
Doctoral Student, Computer Science
Student Representative

Task Force Resource Members

Siobhan Fleming
Senior Director for Faculty Research Development, Office for Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise

Shannon Heuberger
Task Force Facilitator, Consultant

Rebecca Luther 
Senior Director of Academic Strategic Communications and Marketing

Katie Meersman
Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Operations and Strategic Initiatives

Steve Wilkerson
Associate Vice Provost and Chief Analytic Officer, Institutional Research

Destination One: Model for Student Success