Monday, June 24, 2024

Task force provides updates on improvements towards the Roadrunner experience

Task force provides updates on improvements towards the Roadrunner experience

JUNE 24, 2024 — Editor’s note: The following message was sent today via email from Veronica Salazar, chief enterprise development officer and executive vice president for Business Affairs and Heather Shipley, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs to all faculty, staff and students:

As we wrap up the academic year, we are pleased to share updates from the Campus Experience Task Force about our efforts to enhance the Roadrunner experience.
The task force was created last fall at the request of President Taylor Eighmy as a result of the strategic planning refresh process. Membership includes representation from every major area on campus, as well as from each governing group. Efforts were guided by three clearly defined goals: to identify best practices that promote an exceptional campus experience, to develop flexible work arrangement guidance, and to optimize academic course and program modality.

The task force received many thoughtful suggestions from focus groups, representative committees and an online survey. With this input, four working groups compiled 62 preliminary recommendations which were then organized and refined into eight main priority recommendation areas:

Academic Experience

  • Offer high-demand courses in multiple modalities 
  • Enhance the academic advising experience through regular communication between advising and departments 
  • Increase student awareness of existing campus resources

Employee Experience

  • Create a Roadrunner Experience website
  • Launch an Employee Success Center
  • Develop flexible work modality resources

Campus Experience

  • Enhance campus infrastructure and services
  • Leverage placemaking and programming efforts to promote a unique campus experience 

More about each recommendation can be found on the Campus Experience Task Force websiteThe task force will continue engaging with individuals and offices on campus who are involved with implementing the recommendations. Today, we are excited to highlight a few of the plans in progress aimed at enhancing the campus experience.

Employee Success Center

Providing our employees with the tools they need to succeed is fundamental to an exceptional professional experience. To help fulfill this need, we are pleased to announce that People Excellence is launching a new Employee Success Center. The center will connect employees with professional development resources, employee perks, wellness and other topics geared toward enhancing employee success. In addition to centralizing key resources online, the center will occupy a physical space on campus that offers programming such as financial planning presentations, coaching and mentorship, leadership development, social events and more. People Excellence will share more details about this exciting new initiative in the coming days.

Enhanced Infrastructure and Services

We can streamline our campus community’s experience through enhanced infrastructure and services such as transportation, parking, internet access and dining options. As a first step toward creating this seamless experience, we recently collaborated with Centro San Antonio to launch The Little Runner e-shuttle, providing free, on-demand service between our downtown campuses. To support Roadrunners’ on-campus needs, project groups will assess additional opportunities for wireless connectivity improvements as well as expanded dining options for varied dietary needs and preferences.

Flexible Work Modality Resources

With many UTSA staff working hybrid or remote modalities, it is essential to expand work modality resources by developing job aids and streamlined processes to support flexible work. This includes updating the Out-of-State Work Exception Request process and establishing best practices for telecommuting agreements, space use and assignment, setting up hoteling stations for hybrid and remote employees, and more. Additionally, a new work modality review matrix will help leaders determine the best modalities for the positions they oversee. The university remains committed to developing a standardized approach to employee work modality that utilizes campus data to ensure work arrangements are aligned with providing the highest level of service to students on our campuses. 

Looking ahead, we remain committed to supporting the campus experience and developing new ways to make UTSA an excellent place to work, learn and discover. To learn more about the task force’s membership, processes and recommendations, or to share additional suggestions and feedback, visit the Campus Experience Task Force webpage

We extend our gratitude to everyone involved in helping the task force create, refine and implement these important initiatives, including many collaborators across the university. Special appreciation goes to the task force’s co-chairs – Mary Hernandez and Katie Meersman – for their vision and leadership throughout this important process.

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