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UTSA Downtown Campus evolves as university implements new strategic plan

by University Communications    |    February 13, 2017

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UTSA’s Downtown Campus will have a greater strategic role as the university launches initiatives aligned to Blueprint UTSA, its new five-year strategic plan.


President Ricardo Romo introduced Blueprint UTSA during his State of the University address last October, outlining strategies to collectively benefit the Main Campus, Downtown Campus and Hemisfair Campus. At that time, Romo identified 10 initial priorities to launch the implementation phase of the strategic plan, including one focused specifically on the Downtown Campus and the evolution of it’s role “as a key asset in alignment with the institution’s strategic priorities.” 


Several initiatives are already underway, including the creation of the UTSA Conference Center, facilities designed to accommodate meetings and events of differing sizes. The development of the center helps address faculty requests for additional space for holding conferences, meetings and short courses. It will bring more faculty, staff and students to the Downtown Campus while providing the San Antonio community with a new location for events and programs aligned with UTSA priorities. The UTSA Conference Center will open in Fall 2017.


Based on continuing input from students, UTSA is creating a One-Stop Service Center at the Downtown Campus, making it more efficient and convenient to get admissions and financial aid assistance, schedule a meeting with an advisor, and obtain other academic and support services. Additionally, to better serve students, the Downtown Campus bookstore has been more centrally located in the Frio Street Building. 


Late last year, Romo conducted a focus group including students, faculty and staff at the Downtown Campus to solicit additional input on needs and priorities and to discuss opportunities for taking full advantage of resources there.


“The Downtown Campus has evolved tremendously since it was established more than 20 years, yet it remains just as vital to the success of our academic and community service mission today as it was in 1995, when it was opened,” said Romo.


To encourage the flow of information and feedback from the Downtown Campus, Romo has selected Vice President for Community Services Jude Valdez to serve in an administrative oversight role to the campus. Valdez will regularly report to Romo and the Campus Management and Operations committee (CMO) on issues pertaining to the Downtown Campus.


Valdez will also lead the Blueprint UTSA task force exploring academic, research, community engagement, space utilization and student services at the Downtown Campus. Additional task force members include:

  • Rogelio Saenz, Dean, College of Public Policy
  • John Murphy, Dean, College of Architecture, Construction and Planning
  • Margo DelliCarpini, Dean, College of Education and Human Development
  • Robert McKinley, Senior Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Institute for Economic Development
  • George Norton, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, Student Affairs
  • Joseph Kulhanek, Assistant Vice President of P-20 Initiatives, Institute for P-20 Initiatives
  • Vick Heller, Associate Professor of Management, College of Business
  • Roger Enriquez, Professor, College of Public Policy/Director, Policy Studies Center 
  • Juliet Langman, Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development
  • Francine Romero, Associate Dean, College of Public Policy


    “I am very excited to have this opportunity to support the incredible work of the faculty, staff and students taking place at the Downtown Campus and to further build our culture of ‘one institution at three locations’,” said Valdez. 


    The task force is conducting a survey that solicits ideas about future development at the Downtown Campus. Responses are confidential. You can take the survery here.


    The Downtown Campus is home to the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning and the College of Public Policy, the graduate programs in the College of Education and Human Development, and many of the university’s community engagement centers, institutes and programs.


    UTSA is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world and among the top 100 in the nation, according to Times Higher Education.




View the original story on UTSA Today: http://www.utsa.edu/today/2017/02/dtblueprint.html

Photo courtesy of University Communications


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