img_dean_sanders-241x300It is an exciting time to be at UTSA. For the first time ever, our undergraduate program was ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the best in the country—named Top 5 in Texas and the top-ranked business school among Hispanic Serving Institutions. In addition, enrollments are up, particularly in graduate programs where we successfully launched two new programs this fall. Student placement continues to improve, and faculty research has reached levels never before achieved.

As rewarding as our progress has been, we cannot rest on our laurels. We must continue to critically examine all that we do and take steps to improve our already leading position in cyber security as well as position the college for future opportunities in nascent fields such as data analytics.

As the world moves to a more data-centric focus, employers will need increasing numbers of professionals who can analyze complex data across a wide variety of contexts and formats, such as cyber analytics, marketing analytics and financial analytics. We have a great opportunity to build on our capabilities to better prepare young professionals to help organizations make informed decisions as well as secure and protect their critical data.

img_strategicprioritiesThe college has several key priorities at this time. First, we will continue to focus on aligning our programs with market trends so that students are well prepared for careers in areas of high-workforce demand. Second, we must significantly increase our commitment to student professional development. Finally, we will engage in more rigorous and relevant research and find additional ways to support and reward this important work. By committing to these priorities, we will achieve greater recognition for the college, elevate our brand and provide even greater opportunities for our graduates.

Throughout the summer, faculty and staff have met to refine our strategy as we pursue these priorities. One key area of focus has been restructuring our two principal degree programs, the BBA and the MBA. This process includes reaching out to alumni and business leaders so that we are aligned with what the business community needs now and in the future.

Another area of priority was finding more support for the college’s Center for Student Professional Development. Currently about one third of our undergraduate students participate in our professional development programs. We are committed to extending these services to all students by 2020 and to begin offering services to select graduate students immediately.

To accomplish our goals, we will need to be resourceful and embrace the Hindu philosophy of Jugaad—
creating opportunities out of obstacles and resourcefully creating solutions using simple means. We have stretch goals that will only be accomplished by working together.

For instance, when we launched the new M.S. in Data Analytics program this fall, we combined resources across departments and worked with local partners like USAA and others to successfully launch our first class of 63 students without any new resource allocations.

San Antonio deserves a top-tier business school, and I am proud to lead the UTSA College of Business during this era of unlimited potential. As the college shifts to adapt to the changing world of business, we are proud to partner with students, alumni and business leaders in this exciting journey!

Wm. Gerard Sanders