This week, UTSA honored staff members and departments for their support of the HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) Program. At first glance, it may seem a little unusual to give awards for something as mundane as purchasing furniture and office supplies. But as I prepared to give the welcoming remarks at the award ceremony, I realized that these awards are very important. They are important, because what the awards really recognize are staff and departments who are living our institutional mission of access and excellence. We talk about access and excellence for students, but it’s important in other ways as well. The HUB Program is about access to opportunities for businesses that historically have been shut out from doing business with large state agencies. As a university, we want excellence in the services and products we purchase. The award winners help UTSA live out the values of access and excellence.
UTSA espouses other values, as well. Like most other organizations, we have a statement of values. They are: Integrity, Excellence, Inclusiveness, Respect, Collaboration and Innovation. Great words, aren’t they? The problem is they are only words unless we do something about it. UTSA can’t be an institution of integrity unless each of us is a person of integrity as shown by our decisions and actions. The only way we become a place of excellence is by paying attention to every detail and reaching for excellence in all we do. Inclusiveness, Respect, Collaboration and Innovation – all of them have to be action words and every one of us has to be active in living them. So, the next time you wonder about an activity or program, check to see what values are being acted upon. When you create a program or service, ask yourself what values are being lived and made visible for everyone to see.
Each day, everything we say and do shapes our university – we are the ones, every member of this organization – we are the ones who decide whether UTSA lives up to the values, to the words. Our actions create this university. Is it values-based or not? It’s up to us. It’s up to you.