FEBRUARY 28, 2022 — This op-ed by Bernard Arulanandam, immunologist in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and vice president for research, economic development, and knowledge enterprise at UTSA, originally appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.
UTSA’s recent Tier One designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education is great news for San Antonio. It underscores the university’s transformative research, validates its ability to fuel economic development and social mobility, and solidifies the city’s standing as a destination for innovation.
UTSA targeted the Tier One classification as part of its strategic plan to become a great public research university. Today, only 146 higher education institutions have the R1 (“very high research activity”) designation, placing UTSA among the top 4% of research institutions nationwide. Among them, UTSA has one of the largest Hispanic student populations.
Those who have been watching UTSA know that it is experiencing tremendous growth.
The university’s research expenditures have increased 106% over the last four years, from $68 million in FY 2017 to $140 million in FY 2021. This funding enables the innovative approaches inherent to UTSA’s research-intensive mission.
At the same time, UTSA has successfully attracted world-class faculty members to San Antonio. The university currently has over 700 active faculty researchers—including 13 National Academies memberships—and 4,800 graduate students who are involved in some type of research activity.
In recent years, UTSA established the School of Data Science, the National Security Collaboration Center, the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design and the College for Health, Community and Policy. Each is fueling groundbreaking research collaborations and preparing students for a rapidly-changing workforce.
More broadly, they are examples of UTSA’s commitment to addressing the intractable challenges facing our world.
Society is facing complex issues at the local and national levels including health disparities, the digital divide, a vulnerable supply chain and an aging critical infrastructure.
Tier One universities are well-positioned to develop bold solutions for these challenges. They secure more research dollars, attract world-class faculty and lead transdisciplinary research programs—benefits that create more experiential learning programs for students, expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem and propel continued growth.
Today, UTSA fosters strong public-private partnerships that blend basic and applied research to produce disruptive innovations that scale and deploy at speed to secure San Antonio’s future.
San Antonio’s Research & Development League, for example, is leveraging the talent, investment, ideas and entrepreneurship of local businesses and community organizations to improve the quality of life for its 1.5 million residents. As a founding member of the league, UTSA researchers are pursuing federal funding for collaborative projects and employing scientific methods to inform policy that will impact urban planning.
Meanwhile, the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics, a billion-dollar investment driven by UTSA, UT Health San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute and Texas Biomedical Research Institute, is leveraging the partners’ expertise and resources to develop personalized therapies for many challenging public health issues like infectious diseases, diabetes and cancer.
Across Texas, our Institute of Economic Development is building community and business resilience. Last year, it reported a direct economic impact of $3 billion and helped create nearly 11,000 new jobs, work that has become even more paramount during the pandemic.
With higher rates of educational attainment at the forefront of the university’s mission, UTSA is anchoring San Antonio’s knowledge economy. Its focused work directly supports greater:SATX’s regional economic development plan to attract and retain businesses that generate bold ideas in bioscience, aerospace, manufacturing, cybersecurity and technology.
At the same time, UTSA is fulfilling its founding mission to provide a top-quality education. It is creating life-changing educational opportunities for the students who will join, grow and prosper in the city’s thriving knowledge economy.
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.Virtual Event
Please join us in remembering those who have entered the next part of life by designing a nicho box in their memory. This workshop will provide the necessary items to create your nicho box, though please remember to bring a photo or small object that can fit in a 3.5 x5x1 inch box (small jewelry box).John Peace Library GroupSpot B, Main Campus
Come celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with La Comunidad at The University of Texas at San Antonio. We will have food, games and dancing!H-E-B Student Union Ballroom 1 & 2, Main Campus
LMSA invites you to join us in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through an interactive cooking lesson! This cultural experience will teach you how to prepare a popular Mexican dish, street taquitos. You will be able to sample this dish and learn the recipe to use in your own home.Recreation Wellness Center Demo Kitchen
Future Roadrunners will see what Roadrunner life is all about at UTSA Day. All of Main Campus transforms into our UTSA Day open house for Future Roadrunners and their families to explore the university experience.Main Campus
Learn about the LGBTQIA+ community and being an Ally and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people, communities, and the issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ community.Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice Lounge, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.