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2020 Connected Program

Three Endowed Chairs/Professorships to lead our role as an HSI research university that advocates for equity

Critical to UTSA’s success as an HSI Research University committed to institutional excellence and innovation, this year’s Connected Hiring program is designed to advance our national role as an advocate for equity and inclusion by inviting applications and nominations for three endowed chairs (or professorships, depending on the candidate qualifications) which are new, tenured faculty positions in multiple colleges. These endowed chairs in Engineering, in Health, Community and Policy, and in Sciences together will deepen and broaden UTSA’s capacity in impact-focused research that promotes educational success, research excellence, community health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on marginalized groups. Successful candidates will have demonstrated (1) research competencies and capabilities commensurate with an endowed chair/distinguished tenured professor appointment levels in the relevant college/department(s) of interest, (2) exemplary dedication to inclusion and diversity in all of its forms, and (3) leadership experience with collaborative teams and success in federally funded transdisciplinary efforts. Given the role of diverse leadership in enabling pathways and serving as a role model for students from historically underrepresented groups, applications and nominations of diverse candidates from historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged.

Endowed Chair/Professorship in the College of Engineering

UTSA Engineering is poised to become a national leader in educational research and academic excellence for underrepresented populations. This endowed chair/professorship is strengthened by a rich team of engineering researchers with notable educational awards from NSF, DOD, NASA, NIH, and others; a new Center for Excellence in Engineering Education Research (CEEER); and programs with growing gender and racial diversity positioned in a region with even greater diversity, all of which lay the groundwork for creating a unique Master’s Program in Engineering Education focused on enabling the success of Hispanic, first-generation, female, and Black students. This program will serve two populations:

  • K-12 education experts seeking training and expertise in engineering science concepts, and
  • Engineering graduates seeking training in pedagogical expertise for increased learning in higher education settings.

The demand for the first audience is evident nationwide as high schools struggle to provide meaningful engineering curricula for their students. A strong engineering education curriculum at UTSA would provide the critical background elements for these teachers to implement sound engineering principles and authentic learning experiences for a diverse range of high school students. This serves to increase the pipeline of talented students from underrepresented areas, providing higher education opportunities in highly-trained, technical fields, which in turn can attract high-skill, high-compensation job opportunities to the region.

The second audience serves to increase the retention and graduation of underrepresented populations of engineering students across the nation. Engineering education research programs are important to improve learning and thus improve retention of students throughout the engineering curriculum. The location, student population, and faculty expertise and backgrounds at UTSA position this program to be the leader for developing pedagogical approaches that are uniquely effective for growing, retaining, and graduating underrepresented populations of engineering students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The UTSA College of Engineering has demonstrated this expertise by growing the female population from 18% to 22% and Hispanic populations from 42% to 50% from 2015 to 2019, while increasing first-year retention rates, six-year graduation rates, and the percentage of recruited students from the top 10% of their high school.  

The holder of the endowed chair/professorship will join another full-time tenure-track faculty, as well as 8-10 partially-appointed faculty with research support in engineering education, to support a joint engineering education master’s program between the Colleges of Engineering and Education and Human Development, with a primary home in Engineering. The program will be housed at the college level of administration to ensure broad participation across the entire college. The master’s program will be strongly associated with CEEER, driving research initiatives within the college and as part of large, multi-institution collaborative grants, with UTSA leading the educational efforts through a special emphasis on underrepresented populations.

Please contact Dr. JoAnn Browning ( JoAnn.Browning@utsa.edu), Dean of the College of Engineering, and Dr. Bernard Arulanandam ( Bernard.Arulanandam@utsa.edu), Vice President for Research, Economic Development & Knowledge Enterprise (VPREDKE), for nominations or questions.

Endowed Chair/Professorship in the College for Health, Community and Policy

UTSA launched the new College for Health, Community and Policy (HCaP) in January 2020. The college came about as a result of the work of the university’s Human Health Initiative to bring together departments and programs to collaborate across disciplines and with communities to solve the complex problems associated with human health. Embracing the Hispanic-thriving and urban-serving missions of UTSA, HCaP will be a leader in transdisciplinary, community-engaged, collaborative research, teaching, and policy development that improves the lives and wellbeing of diverse populations. 

This Endowed Chair/Professorship in community-engaged health equity and inclusion will serve as the nexus for leading public health and biomedical innovators to provide real world instruction, thoughtful leadership and domain expertise to solve problems in health equity and inclusion. We seek an eminent scholar leader who focuses on the social disparities of health in at least one of the College’s departments (joint appointments are welcomed) and who can not only lead their own work, but also be a catalyst for collaborative team building to deepen the impact within and outside the university. The candidate may focus on health inequities at the individual, relationship, community, neighborhood or societal level.

Successful candidates will have demonstrated success in federal research grants that address the social, cultural and structural determinants of health, particularly as they relate to urban locations. This community-focused position is expected to leverage strengths throughout San Antonio to develop research that can positively influence the health of the larger San Antonio community, as well as other communities within the larger ecosystem.

UTSA has a strong connection to UT Health San Antonio, which is our sister medical school within the University of Texas System. This position will have an opportunity to build on existing partnerships and will be expected to expand collaborations between institutions. HCaP enjoys existing collaborations with the Institute for Health Promotion Research, the Military Health Institute, and the joint PhD in Translational Science. Additionally, more than a dozen UTSA faculty have adjoint appointments in UT Health departments, including Medicine, Nursing, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, Population Health Sciences, and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. The UT Health School of Public Health (UTSPH) and UTSA collaborate on thriving undergraduate/graduate 4+1 programs to serve our community. In addition, the UTSPH – San Antonio campus is an integral member of UT Health San Antonio’s Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS), which works with researchers and communities across south Texas to develop strong community and academic partnerships to advance health equity. There is also an expansive health-related research network in San Antonio, where HCaP boasts connections to the Health Collaborative, the Methodist Health Ministries, Baptist Health Foundation and the City of San Antonio R&D League, to name a few. 

Another critical community connection is made through UTSA’s Westside Community Partnership. The Westside Community Partnership (WCP) is a place-based strategy that aims to address the most tenacious challenges at the heart of San Antonio’s Mexican American working-class community. The WCP harnesses the human, intellectual, and economic power of UTSA to improve the lives of the people of the Westside and is an integral part of UTSA’s strategy in reaching its destination as a premier urban-serving institution of the future, whose physical presence is integral to the social, cultural, and economic wellbeing of the San Antonio community.

Please contact Dr. Lynne Cossman ( Lynne.Cossman@utsa.edu), Dean of the College for Health, Community & Policy, and Dr. Bernard Arulanandam ( Bernard.Arulanandam@utsa.edu), Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise, for nominations or questions.

Endowed Chair/Professorship in the College of Sciences

Our changing climate is one of the most urgent issues facing our world now and for the foreseeable future. It is driving fundamental changes in all aspects of macro-biological and environmental systems on the entire planet. In turn, those changes impact all aspects of human activity – from food production and living environment design to governance – all of which impact equitable distribution of finite resources. These challenges are particularly profound in South Texas, Bexar County, and San Antonio given existing structural economic and political inequities related to race/ethnicity. As a community-minded, HSI research university, UTSA must be a scholarly leader in all aspects of meeting this challenge.

To that end, the endowed chair/professorship in the College of Sciences (COS) will nucleate our leadership at the interfaces of biology, ecology and environmental science systems, as they open windows on the impact of climate change on our local community. The ideal candidate would be a well-recognized scholar with a national reputation for teaching and scientific research related to environmental impacts of climate change on the communities and ecosystems in the semi-arid and arid southern borderlands of the United States. At this macro-system level, the key technical challenge is the collection, organization, modeling, and/or analysis of large datasets with high dimensionality. Hence, we are particularly interested in someone who is well versed in the application of integrative approaches, using mathematical modeling and data analytics, and transdisciplinary-based inquiry to enhance our understanding of the climate system, nutrient cycles, ecosystem functions, and biodiversity. While advancing their own research program, this eminent scholar will work with other UTSA scholars and community leaders on collaborative projects that address such basic scientific issues as well as community impacts of climate change.

As a pacesetting sciences faculty member within a Hispanic-thriving and urban-serving institution, the chair holder will simultaneously be someone who shares UTSA’s excitement, commitment, and willingness to constantly innovate to prepare students from disadvantaged and/or underrepresented communities for the 21st century workforce of San Antonio, South Texas, and the world. At the college level, that commitment will be supported by the COS Student Success Center (SSC) as well as the Center for Research and Teaching in Science (CRTS). In the classroom or teaching lab (physical or virtual), COS faculty are working to implement new, richer pedagogical approaches that are asset-based, experiential, and culturally aware. Exemplar activities include the introduction of freshman interest (“affinity”) groups and course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), as well as reshaping work-study assignments to be more relevant to future careers. COS efforts are on-going and ripe for further input and leadership from the new endowed chair holder.

The successful applicant will be a tenured professor within the College of Sciences (COS) with a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics and one of the life sciences departments.

UTSA has recently launched a number of multi-college/multi-institution units relevant to this new position, including the School for Data Science (SDS), the MATRIX AI Consortium for Human Well-being, the Institute for Water Research, Sustainability, and Policy (IWRSP), and the NASA MIRO Center for Advanced Measurements in Extreme Environments (CAMEE). Department-scale computation resources are extended by the UTSA Open Cloud Institute as well as access to the Texas Advanced Computer Center (TACC). A new university-level computing initiative is expected to be announced in the near future. Many COS research faculty have strong and productive collaborations with scientists and groups at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) as well as various local, state, and federal agencies located in and around San Antonio.

Please contact Dr. David R. Silva (davidr.silva@utsa.edu), Dean of the College of Sciences and Dr. Bernard Arulanandam (bernard.arulanandam@utsa.edu), Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise, for nominations or questions.

General Qualifications

Successful candidates will have a research and teaching record befitting appointment as an endowed chair or professor (appointments with tenure are contingent upon Board of Regents’ approval) and demonstrated commitment to, and progressive record of, championing inclusion and diversity. Moreover, the successful candidate(s) must demonstrate their ability to work with and be sensitive to the educational needs of diverse urban populations and support the university’s commitment to thrive as a Hispanic Serving Institution and a model for student success. Leadership experience with collaborative teams and success in federally funded transdisciplinary efforts also are required. A doctoral degree in a related field relevant to the position description is required. Compensation will be commensurate with applicant qualifications. Given the positive impact of diverse leadership in inspiring, mentoring, and enabling successful outcomes for students from historically underrepresented groups, particularly those who identify as Hispanic/Latino, candidates from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Qualifying candidates will be considered for funding from the Texas state Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI) as well as The University of Texas System’s Faculty Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) program

Nomination and Application Instructions

Nominations should be sent to the contacts listed above for each position.

Applicants should submit their application packages via the UTSA Talent Acquisition website.  Application packages must contain the following:

  1. curriculum vitae,
  2. teaching and research statement including a discussion of the role equity and inclusion play in an academic environment (four-page limit),
  3. copies of three publications, and
  4. complete contact information for at least three professional references.

Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. Applications received by December 4, 2020, will be given first consideration; applications received after that date will be reviewed until the position is filled. Applicants selected for interviews must show proof that they will be eligible and qualified to work in the United States by the time of hire. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Tenure is contingent upon Board of Regents’ approval. UTSA is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer.