Convocation addresses university growth
By Michael Peters
University administration plans to expand and consolidate all programs on the university’s Main Campus, eventually turning A&M-San Antonio into a “world-class university.”
President Maria Hernandez Ferrier and Provost Brent Snow addressed campus growth at faculty convocation Friday in the auditorium of the Central Academic Building.
Held annually since 2009, this was the first convocation hosted at the university’s expanding Main Campus. Last year’s convocation was held off campus at Palo Alto College.
“We have arrived,” Ferrier stated, referring to the new addition of the Central Academic Building as a “190,000 square foot architectural beauty.”
However, the story of A&M-San Antonio becoming a destination university will not be about the buildings, but the power of students, staff and faculty, Snow said.
“It will be about all of us creating that big time university from a plot of ground filled with wild pigs, cows and horses on the South Side of San Antonio,” Snow said. “The question to be asked will be, ‘Did the mile leading to the campus on University Way really become the miracle mile for students?”
“The only acceptable answer must be a resounding yes, and it will be,” he continued. “We must keep the vision bright of where we are going and where we have been. The world, after all, is our campus, starting on the South Side of San Antonio.”
To bring together all students, faculty and staff at one location, Ferrier plans to request funds for additional buildings from the 84th Texas Legislative session January 2015.
“While we’re very grateful for the campus at Brooks, we will go to the Legislature once again and ask for $70 million for a science technology building that will bring all of our family onto this permanent campus,” Ferrier said, adding that she will request additional funds to help students reach their dream of enrolling and completing their degrees.
Administrators will explore new programs for all of the university’s colleges, including doctoral programs.
“A&M-San Antonio will lead the way to becoming the second largest university in the A&M system while carrying out its mission to prepare and empower students through innovative and challenging academic and cocurricular programs that enrich the economic and social development of the community and region,” Ferrier said.
Snow said that becoming a destination university is not only about size, but also the people and personality of the university itself.
“I’m talking about style, tradition, integrity, service, commitment and excellence,” Snow said. “I’m talking about powerful academic programs and outstanding student, faculty and staff support.”
Snow admitted that it will take time for A&M-San Antonio to grow into a destination university, but he believes now is the time to lay down the groundwork for that effort.
“I realize that it takes an enormous amount of history to create even a little tradition, but let’s create it anyways,” Snow said. “Let’s become known as one of the top universities and organizations to work for in San Antonio and beyond.”
Addressing faculty, Snow outlined some of the qualities necessary to becoming a top organization such as treating each other as colleagues, under-promising and over-delivering, and coupling high expectations with high support.
Snow also acknowledged that A&M-San Antonio “will surely have challenges, disappointments, bumps and bruises along the way, but we are on the road to becoming big time.”