Message from the President
By Office of the President
Friday, 04 10 2015
Dear Fellow Members of the University Community,
April 12th will mark 90 amazing days as the President of Texas A&M-San Antonio. I am immensely thankful to all of you, the members of the campus community, for your welcoming approach, willingness to be audacious in your thinking and for your trust. These are important aspects in our growth and development as we move A&M-San Antonio to the next generation of academic and student success!
Since my arrival in January, I have made it a priority to listen to the University community. Students, faculty, staff, community members, elected officials, donors, partners and civic leaders have been extremely forthcoming and vital to the process. Today, approximately 90 days into my presidency, I am excited about the advancements we have made in addressing the highest priorities: student academic success and the legislative agenda.
We have an incredible opportunity before us to become a National Model of Student Success. A catalyst for this key initiative is the Student and Academic Success Speakers Series, which began with an engaging presentation by Dr. Gage Paine on April 1. Earlier this week, Dr. Tia Brown McNair, the second of our distinguished speakers, provided invaluable information on inclusive excellence and pairing student success with learning outcomes. Both speakers underscored how our University is poised to build a studentready college by working purposefully and building on what we are already doing well. Additional speakers are scheduled throughout the month of April and into May. I encourage your participation and urge you to join me in this important dialogue. With a focus on transparency and awareness, a campus-wide Budget Forum was held on March 20. The forum addressed issues of accountability, shared governance and the budget process. It also helped raise awareness about our fiscal state and the need to thoughtfully and strategically allocate resources. The forum launched the budget process and the establishment of the Commission on University Resources.
Also in March, the University hosted a Water Summit where community and business leaders consulted with A&M-SA leadership on "all things water." These preliminary discussions are critical, as is the University's commitment to develop our "water" agenda and advance our academic program plan and applied research.
Our students continue to embrace new traditions and seek out opportunities for civicminded engagement. On April 1, our Student Government Association partnered with the South San Antonio Chamber to co-host an inclusive mayoral debate that brought 9 of the 14 candidates to the A&M-SA Campus. Earlier in the semester the organization also coordinated a town-hall meeting on the topic of concealed carry weapons on campus. These student-led activities are essential to provoking the diversity of thought that accompanies the college experience. I applaud SGA for their efforts and look forward to many more events to come!
As a Military Embracing institution we pride ourselves on providing a home for the members of our military community where their voice can be heard, such as the Women in the Military Panel Presentation held in honor of Women's History Month. This unique event featured a group of remarkable women leaders sharing their personal stories of transition from military service to a civilian career and return to college. I was captivated by their stories and salute them for their service to our country.
On April 2, I was honored to take part in one of the most widely embraced A&M-SA traditions, the 4th annual Ring Ceremony. The event was held in the auditorium and moved outside to the Grand Courtyard, where over 200 students were joined by their families as they were presented with their University ring ceremonially on the University seal. I was inspired by the energy and pride our students revealed as they experienced the emotional culmination of what has been for many, years of hard work and dedication towards earning a college degree. A truly momentous occasion!
A few days ago, I welcomed area superintendents to our campus to discuss our growing education and human development programs. Preparing teachers for the classroom from day one is something we are known for here at A&M-SA and it is critical we continue to produce highly sought after graduates. I am proud to report the superintendents made it clear A&M-SA is paving the way to long-term success in this area.
This month you will find that I will continue to actively meet with our legislators at the Capitol during this essential 84th Legislative Session. I am committed to advancing our funding requests and sharing the story of Texas A&M-San Antonio with our leaders in Austin and the region.
April is also filled with celebration as the Fiesta San Antonio festivities begin and A&MSan Antonio takes part in several noteworthy events. Our Fiesta medal will go on sale next week and will be featured at Pin Pandemonium at Fiesta at the Alamo on April 16; the University will have a float in the annual Cavalier's River Parade on Monday, April 20 where I will join students, faculty and staff participating in the festivities; and the Fiesta Flambeau Parade on April 25. These events will culminate with our very own Festival de Cascarones on Sunday, April 26 - our first year as an official Fiesta event! I hope you make plans to join us on campus for this A&M-SA Fiesta tradition!
There are also amazing things taking place at the downtown Educational and Cultural Arts Center. This weekend, the Arte y Tradicion de la Frontera: The U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, a world-class exhibition featuring the works of Santa Barraza and Carmen Lomas Garza will host the third session of our Borderlands Symposium on Saturday and a lecture, gallery walk and book-signing by artist Santa Barraza on Sunday afternoon. You are all invited to attend these exciting and thought-provoking events.
I continue to welcome open communication and embrace the digital open door policy. Please continue to send me your emails, follow me on Twitter and Facebook and/or dialogue with me through the S.H.A.R.E. with the President link on the University's main page. With the S.H.A.R.E. button you can Share concerns or challenges; ask for Help if you need assistance; Acknowledge a job well done or good deeds; Request services, solutions and answers; and Exchange ideas and information.
As the semester comes to a brisk close, preparations are underway for Spring Commencement. I look forward to congratulating our candidates for graduation on what will mark my first commencement as president of this great institution!
Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson