Rising Star Hiring Program (RSP)

The purpose of the Advancing Academic Excellence through Rising Star Hiring Program (RSP) is to provide financial support from Academic Affairs to academic colleges/schools/departments to support additional hiring of full-time, tenured/tenure-track (T/TT) faculty who will advance excellence at UTSA through enhancing student success, research and academic distinction as outlined in President’s Vision and Strategic Plan for UTSA.

Through the Special Opportunity Hiring mechanism, RSP provides designated funding to hire promising faculty who are not recruited through a traditional search and whose work has the potential to disrupt their fields while advancing academic excellence through 1) fostering new and creative ways of involving our student body in an accessible and engaged education aimed at producing highly capable graduates who will meet our state’s critical workforce needs, 2) developing new approaches to discovery and cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, scholarship and creative work that benefits our communities and addresses complex global problems, and 3) expanding collaborations with community and business partnerships, including those involving traditionally underserved groups.


The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)—a thriving, Hispanic-Serving, Carnegie R1 research university—is on a rapid upward trajectory toward becoming the next great public research university. UTSA has evolved significantly as a discovery enterprise in recent years. The university is situated in an extraordinarily collaborative research ecosystem in San Antonio, with public and private strategic partners and has played a leading role both in the region and nationally—particularly on areas related to cybersecurity and biomedical and health sciences. The university is well-positioned to further influence regional, national, and global conversations as these areas grow.

In order to support this upward scholarly trajectory and our commitment to student success and academic excellence, UTSA needs to recruit faculty who have showed extraordinary promise early in their careers, or who are exploring new research directions and pushing boundaries in their fields.

RSP Evaluation Criteria:

Colleges/Schools/Departments seeking financial support to recruit T/TT faculty must establish that those individuals demonstrate competency in one or more of the following critical areas that are illustrative, not exhaustive or singular:

  • advancing research capacity, reputation and progress towards the outcomes described in President Eighmy’s Vision and Strategic Plan for UTSA;
  • the potential to contribute to our understanding of the conditions that enhance access to and full participation in an academic community;
  • advancing the impact of UTSA programs by addressing society's needs, connecting with industry, government and institutional partners, and/or engagement with our communities;
  • artistic expression, cultural production or innovation activity that reflects multicultural communities or voices not well represented in the arts and humanities;
  • bringing a variety of backgrounds and perspectives together to increase and enrich collaborations across traditional disciplinary and ideological divides;
  • particular expertise with serving the economic, social and cultural needs of our state and region;
  • broad programs of research concerned with eliminating disparities such as access to health programs, educational advancement, political engagement, social mobility, and civil and human rights.

Because of the critical importance RSP hires can play in transforming the academic environment, not only in the home department, but also in the college and across the university, interdisciplinary hires that meet or connect multiple interests will be prioritized.

Funding Model:

RSP is funded by the Strategic Priorities Fund under UTSA’s Incentivized Resource Management (IRM) budget model and process and is administered by Academic Affairs. The total amount of funding available each year depends on the hires that have been made in the previous two years. In some cases, lesser levels of funding may be offered to maximize the number of hires under this program. The typical RSP funding model employed is:


Initiative (Academic Affairs)


Year One



Year Two



Year Three



Year Four



Year Five



RSP will be reviewed annually to ensure that it is being implemented in a manner that meets the strategic priorities outlined above.

Application Process:

The Special Opportunity Hiring Mechanism is used to accomplish RSP hires, and the general procedure to accomplish RSP hiring is described in this document. RSP Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis during the academic year.

Once promising, eligible individuals have been identified by faculty and nominated to the Chair, the Dean submits a written RSP proposal describing how the candidate’s background, experience and other qualifications will advance academic excellence and strategic priorities, as outlined in this Initiative and in President Eighmy’s Vision and Strategic Plan for UTSA. This proposal should address how this hire advances excellence through the candidate’s track record, experience, and commitments to research, teaching, service, and outreach collaborations. Student evaluations, publications or other materials that address the criteria also may be submitted, which is particularly important when such information is not detailed on candidates’ CVs.

Include the IRM funding plan that describes how the college will meet the RSP financial requirements. The Assistant Vice President for Academic Resource Management is available to provide assistance to colleges/schools/departments in developing the IRM funding plan.

Also describe the candidate vetting process, including how the candidate will be reviewed by faculty and others prior to hire, and attach the preliminary offer letter, Source of Funds form, draft start-up support list and the individual’s CV. If more than one RSP proposal is submitted by a dean, provide the priority order of request in relation to other requests that have been submitted by the school or college.

Please note that for promising scholars early in their career who show particular research potential but who do not yet have the typical record of achievement expected of UTSA early career faculty candidates, initial appointment for up to two years as a University Post-Doctoral Scholar may be requested. In this case, the specific departmental/college academic criteria that the candidate must meet to move onto the tenure track must be stated prior to recruitment. Formal academic evaluation will be conducted. For assistance with Academic Affairs review process and crafting the academic mentoring/faculty success program of support, please contact the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Success.


RSP reviews are ongoing under the Special Opportunity Hiring mechanism, and will be completed as soon as is practicable. The Provost reviews the Dean’s written candidate nomination proposal, funding plan and required materials. If the proposal and funding plan are approved after discussion with the Dean, the nominated individual is approved as a candidate and the hiring process is then authorized to proceed per established Academic Affairs guidance. The Dean, in consultation with the relevant Department Chair, initiates the process of candidate review to hire in accordance with established guidelines prior to final negotiations.


Please feel free to submit questions or input to provost@utsa.edu.