Frequently Asked Questions
UTSA's Strategic Plan
What is a strategic plan?
A strategic plan is a high-level framework—developed by leaders in conversation with the campus community and other stakeholders—that charts a course for the university’s future.
A strategic plan is a long-term effort: UTSA’s transformational plan follows a ten-year timeline (2018-2028) to become an even bigger and better university. At UTSA, our strategic plan is a shared, high-level vision to guide the activities of colleges, schools, departments, and units. The vision is broad enough to allow UTSA to capitalize on new opportunities to advance our mission.
Three destinations anchor UTSA’s plan:
- Be a model for student success
- Be a great public research university
- Be an exemplar for strategic growth and innovative excellence
How does the strategic plan benefit UTSA?
UTSA’s strategic plan provides the campus community with the following:
- The opportunity to speak up and shape our shared future;
- A vision that inspires each of us to excel to new levels of excellence;
- A framework to align our time, resources, and energy toward common goals;
- Shared key performance indicators and benchmarks to measure our progress; and
- Regular accountability updates of what we have achieved and what we are working to achieve.
How did the “A Vision for UTSA” (2018-2028) strategic vision come about?
When President Taylor Eighmy arrived at UTSA in 2017, he immediately launched a listening tour with internal and external stakeholders. In close collaboration with campus leaders and the UT System Board of Regents, UTSA used this feedback to identify three strategic destinations and target outcomes to guide our ten-year transformational vision. In addition, ten Models of Peer Excellence were selected to guide the implementation of UTSA’s priority initiatives to achieve our strategic vision.
UTSA’s fundraising efforts closely align with our strategic vision. In October 2022, UTSA entered the public phase of the Be Bold Comprehensive Campaign. This $500m fundraising effort is designed to secure the financial support necessary to enable UTSA to reach its three destinations.
How do UTSA’s strategic initiatives support the three destinations?
UTSA’s three strategic destinations form a broad vision for what we are working to achieve across divisions, colleges, departments, and units. In 2018, UTSA began launching strategic initiatives—bounded projects and focused planning efforts by identified teams—to mobilize action and make the three destinations a reality. Along the way, project leaders have updated the campus as significant milestones are achieved. In 2022, more than 50 initiatives have been launched, and more than half have been fully operationalized or completed.
Due to the interconnected nature of UTSA’s strategic destinations, many strategic initiatives support more than one destination. For example, Integrated Design, an initiative that led to the creation of the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design, advances all three destinations. By expanding experiential learning opportunities and mentoring programs, Klesse College enhances UTSA’s standing as a national model in student success (Destination 1). By fostering transdisciplinary research partnerships, Klesse College contributes to UTSA’s efforts to become a great public research university (Destination 2). And by offering a streamlined and collaborative administrative structure, Klesse College allows UTSA to deliver innovative services and support more effectively and efficiently (Destination 3). Destination-spanning initiatives, as well as destination-specific initiatives, both play a role in accelerating UTSA’s transformation.
Midpoint Progress and Refresh Process
How do we track and measure our success in implementing our strategic plan? How are we doing so far?
UTSA’s strategic plan aspires to achieve institutional transformation. Each year, UTSA collects, analyzes, disseminates, and acts upon many forms of data at the university, college, and unit levels. These data—which include student enrollment data, graduation rates, research productivity, fundraising success, user satisfaction surveys, attendance data, and demographic information about faculty and staff, among other measures—serve as valuable internal measures of our progress to guide campus leaders in both strategic and operational decision-making. In addition, the University of Texas System reviews UTSA’s outcomes annually for monitoring our performance over time.
Regarding our strategic destinations, UTSA has identified a set of key performance indicators that provide a high-level overview of institutional health. A mid-point progress report containing our strategic plan KPIs can be viewed here.
Why are we refreshing our plan in 2022-2023?
In an email to campus (May 6, 2023), Dr. Eighmy explained the motivation for the strategic plan refresh:
“I continue to believe, and to hear from many of you, that our 10-year plan has served us well since its implementation five years ago. The higher education landscape has undergone fundamental changes over the last three years. Now is an opportune time to conduct a thoughtful refresh to affirm our plan’s utility and modify it as needed to serve us for the next five years. This will also allow us to fulfill UT System’s periodic institutional strategic planning updates requirement.”
Hear Dr. Eighmy describe the goals and timeline refresh process here.
What will happen in the refresh process?
The refresh process is our opportunity as a UTSA community to take stock of what we have accomplished in the last five years, affirm which pieces are currently working well, and make revisions that will enable us to continue our trajectory of success.
UTSA’s strategic plan refresh process will adopt the iterative, back-and-forth engagement strategies developed in the administration and follow-up of the Campus Climate Survey. Senior campus leaders will initiate the process in October 2022. Later this semester, VPs, deans, and unit heads will prime their faculty, staff, and students for the work ahead by describing the refresh process's goals and setting the stage for future conversations.
Between January and mid-March of 2023, these same leaders will host conversations with their stakeholders—soliciting feedback and suggestions to affirm that they are working on UTSA’s strategic vision and opportunities for refinement. This feedback will be aggregated, analyzed, and shared with the members of the Steering Committee to draft a refreshed plan.
Throughout this year, UTSA leaders are committed to providing transparency and accountability by regularly engaging stakeholders about the refresh process and the plans' emerging revisions.
UTSA’s strategic plan refresh process will take approximately one year, commencing in October 2022 and culminating in President Eighmy’s presentation of the refreshed plan and pro forma (long-range financial plan) to the UT System Regents in November 2023.
Who is responsible for overseeing the strategic plan refresh?
President Taylor Eighmy appointed Provost Kimberly Andrews Espy to chair the Strategic Plan Refresh Steering Committee (SPRSC), which includes more than thirty campus leaders, including representatives from the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Government Association (SGA) and Department Chairs’ Council. More about the Steering Committee’s membership and role here.
Dr. Lisa Jasinski, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives President’s Office, will coordinate support for the refresh process.
Aligning Other Plans
How does the university-wide strategic plan interact with college, school, unit, and department plans?
UTSA’s ability to achieve its three destinations depends on all roadrunners' aligned efforts and actions. Once the strategic plan has been refreshed, divisions, colleges, units, and departments will be encouraged to align their strategic plans, activities, and goals with UTSA’s revised strategic destinations to ensure that our strategic energies are focused on shared, collective goals.
How can I get involved?
Throughout the strategic planning refresh process, members of the UTSA community will have many opportunities to get involved and have their voices heard. It takes all of us to move forward together.
Look for information about upcoming virtual and in-person listening sessions hosted by your dean, vice president, and other campus leaders in the spring. Members of the UTSA community will be invited to share their feedback through online surveys and web portals.
Where can I get more information?
This website is the primary resource regarding UTSA’s strategic vision and the refresh process in 2022-23. The President's Office has prepared a summary of key trends impacting higher education for the community to consider in advance of the spring town halls. Additional resources can be viewed in a Sharepoint Drive dedicated to the refresh process.
UTSA stakeholders can direct additional questions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.