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.
Come celebrate the doctoral students graduating this commencement season.H-E-B Student Union Ballrooms, UTSA Main Campus
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the College for Health, Community and Policy, College of Liberal and Fine Arts and College of Sciences.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, College of Education and Human Development, Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design and University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
First Friday Stargazing gives anyone free access to the night sky using university telescopes and teaching equipment. Weather permitting, experienced astronomers will provide a handful of telescopes of varying designs, give training on how each operates, and point to various astronomical objects that may appear in the sky for that given time of the year. If you have a telescope and do not know how to operate it, feel free to bring it and get instructions on its use.4th Floor of Flawn Science Building, 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.