February 22, 2007
Message from the Vice President for Student Affairs
As I told Jana Kennelly this week – the good news about bringing in someone from off-campus is they have ideas from other places. Of course, the bad news is they talk about those other places. So while I’ll try to limit my references to that other university across town, sometimes it’s just too relevant. As is the case today….
My first year at Trinity I chaired the year-long Task Force on the Quality of Student Life. That group developed a report totaling 14 general recommendations with many specific examples and sub-recommendations. These action items ranged from very specific - make MLK day a university holiday – to broad, yet clear – create more community space on campus – to very board and unclear – develop opportunities for more student self-governance. This document became the guideline for the work of the Trinity Division of Student Affairs for the next 5 years and led to a number of significant changes across the division and the campus.
I share this story not to brag on the Trinity staff, though they deserve it, but to start our conversation on the UTSA Strategic Plan. What impressed me most about the work we did at Trinity was the way staff members looked at the report and found themselves and their departments in many ways. They asked questions like ‘How do I help move this forward‘, ‘Who can I find to help me start this change’, ‘And what are the opportunities here to make a difference’? The report could have languished on the shelf or people could have felt hurt by some of the recommendations and been resistant. Instead the task force report became a spark to creativity, collaboration and great pride in accomplishing good work together.
In the next few weeks the draft of the UTSA Strategic Plan will be presented to Student Affairs Directors Council and all directors and AVP’s will be asked to share it with their staff and to lead discussions about what this plan means on every level. Like the Task Force Report, we can choose to resist the Strategic Plan or embrace it, but it will be one factor that shapes our work in the coming months and years. I expect every member of our division to read the draft, ask questions and share ideas. We have a chance to use this document to spark our creativity, collaboration and good work together. I look forward to seeing what we create together and I am sure that in a few years I will be able to look back and say that we contributed to moving UTSA forward in meeting its vision of the future.
Money Gras Theme Brings Success to Financial Aid Fair
On February 7th and 8th, the Office of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services hosted its fifth annual Financial Aid Fair. This year’s theme was “Money” Gras and students were welcomed with a shower of beads. Every year these fairs provide students with a fun environment to get all of their financial aid questions answered. This is also an opportunity for the students to meet with their lenders and the Financial Aid and Enrollment Services staff. Nothing lures college students to an event more than free food and entertainment. The aroma of lunch from Bill Miller’s as well as the sounds from our Financial Aid Idol contest packed the University Center and provided a fun atmosphere for everyone that attended.
Scholarship prizes for Financial Aid Idol were provided by some of our generous lenders.
First place honors went to Rachel Glover who won a $500.00 Scholarship given by Sallie Mae. Michelle Lee Peters took Second place and was awarded a $300.00 scholarship given by Bank of America. Third place winner Priscilla Garcia received a $200.00 Scholarship given by College Loan Corporation. Our remaining finalists, Ashley Gasaway, Kristen Robinson, and Derek Bell were all awarded $100 scholarships for their participation. Our excitement for this event is evident to the students that attend and we look forward to doing it all again next year!
To Mari Martinez - University Center Events Management
I look forward to the possibility of working together again in the future.
(Teach for America was a joint sponsored event with the University Advancement Office on January 13, 2007.)
President Romo recently reinstated the “Dean of Students” title to the position overseeing the Office of Student Life. This change is consistent with the organizational structure referenced by The Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, as well as the norms of most universities in the state. To complete the alignment of key functions within Student Life in accordance with the organizational structure referenced by the U.T. System and other major universities, we have also changed the title of the position currently held by John Kaulfus from Executive Director of the University Center and Student Activities to Associate Dean of Students. The title of the position currently held by Anne Jimenez will now be Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Judicial Affairs. These changes are effective February 1, 2007.
Daniel Sibley, Director of Space Utilization, was invited to the Executive Council Meeting to explain his role and responsibilities in this new position which was effective February 1, 2007. He reports directly to Dr. David Johnson but also answers to Dr. Paine. His focus is on the master plan and strategic plan in relation to the Academic and Student Affairs space needs. He will be looking at merging the room inventory to the staff inventory of space to see that space is utilized to best fit the university’s needs and to eliminate any duplication of space. He will also look at facilities space request to see that they meet compliance requirements. Daniel will be a resource for Student Affairs staff in regard to any issues with facilities problems, space and evaluating space. If you need Daniel’s assistance with any of these issues, Executive Council members may communicate with him via e-mail and “cc” Dr. Paine.
The Office of Student Activities is currently accepting nominations for Student Leader of the Month for January/February. Nomination forms can be completed online at www.utsa.edu/sa/leadutsa/slotm.cfm and are due by March 2, 2007. The Student Leader of the Month program is part of a comprehensive leadership development program sponsored by Student Activities and seeks to recognize those student leaders who are integral members of our campus community. Monthly winners are presented with a certificate and have their stories highlighted in UTSA Today and the Student Activities Newsletter. For more information on this program, please contact Marlon Anderson at ext. 6114.
Student Activities Weekly Events through February 22nd
Last Chance to see the Black History Month Silhouette Display
DT Campus and various locations across campus
Student Activities Weekly Events beginning February 26th.
All events are free and open to our university community unless otherwise noted.
Coming Soon! February 28, 6:30 p.m. - Japanese Cuisine. There is no sign up necessary for any of the Demo Kitchens. They are FREE! So come get some food! The Demo Kitchen gives patrons the opportunity to learn how to cook delicious, healthy, quick meals that are not expensive.
Compliance Refresher Training Modules Due February 28, 2007.
Please send newsletter items to Vivis.Lemmons@utsa.edu by Monday, March 5, 2007.