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Outreach Council to survey involvement efforts

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(Feb. 1, 2008)--As part of the new UTSA strategic plan, President Ricardo Romo established last fall the Outreach Council, which will track the progress of the university's commitment to the community.

As outlined in the strategic plan, UTSA 2016: A Shared Vision, the council will conduct a survey of outreach efforts through a new initiative, Serving the Public Through Community Engagement.

"With a well-defined vision for the future of the university, it's important to take account of where we stand now in order to make progress over the next eight years," said Jude Valdez, UTSA vice president for community services and chair of the Outreach Council.

The Outreach Council defines community outreach as the active involvement of the university community, through its faculty, staff and students, in partnerships with the broader community and region to enrich learning and research; to prepare engaged citizens; to address critical societal issues; and to contribute to the public good.

While a significant portion of outreach efforts, such as P-20 Initiatives, PREP, the Institute for Economic Development and the Mexico Center, originate under UTSA's Office of Community Services, many efforts have emerged independently in areas such as individual colleges.

Community outreach efforts may include programs such as:

  • Student service learning projects in the community such as the recent College of Architecture project with Bexar County at Raymond Russell Park
  • Business extension such as the Institute for Economic Development, which supports small businesses throughout the region
  • Summer camps, such as sports clinics or the young writers' camp
  • College preparatory programs such as PREP and TRIO

The Outreach Council will send the survey to targeted faculty and staff members during the first week of February. Participation in the survey will help give UTSA a clearer vision for 2016.

For more information, contact the UTSA Office of Community Services at (210) 458-2904.

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