UTSA’s chief academic officer steps down

UTSA’s chief academic officer steps down

Alyssa Gonzales

Dr. John Frederick, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will step down and return to the faculty, effective June 1.

As UTSA’s chief academic officer, Frederick oversees the library, the nine colleges at UTSA, information and technology and academic support services. Frederick will rejoin faculty and work with academic leadership programs.

One of the programs he collaborated with was the Leadership UTSA program, along with former Vice President for Student Affairs Gage Paine. This program teaches a selected group of 20 faculty and staff develop personal leadership skills and university operations.

Frederick explained that many individuals who participated in the Leadership UTSA program went on to receive successive leadership positions.

“Most of the things that I’m proud of are soft victories. I feel like we have done a lot to improve the life of faculty. We are doing a better job at recruiting, mentoring, evaluating and promoting faculty,” Frederick said. “It gives one a good feeling that you’ve done a lot to develop the leadership at the university.”

“This is the kind of job that wears you down over time, and I end up sleeping less and less at night because I’m dealing with a lot of problems on a daily basis. I felt like I reached a point that I’ve contributed all the creative ideas that I could,” Frederick said.

“It’s also about the legacy of the people that I have put in place. I have appointed most of the deans at this point and their success going into future years is another of the legacies that I created. There are specific programs you start, and that’s always fun, but I think if you make people successful then you make the institution successful.”

Mary Dixson, Interim Dean to UTSA Libraries, explained that Frederick will be missed, but that library resources is excited to further their initiatives with the interim provost, Mauli Agrawal, and the new provost.

“(Frederick) has been an important advocate for library resources. He is kind, warm and always eager to share new ideas for the library,” Dixson said. “At the moment our focus is on raising funds to support library initiatives, and I am confident that whoever steps into the provost’s role will be eager to support those efforts.”

Frederick explains that treating faculty better is a key component to UTSA becoming Tier One.

“What I think may have a greater impact on (achieving Tier One status) and having the resources in the amount we need, and we don’t always have that,” Frederick said. “The legislature determines the state appropriation, the regents determine what the tuition and fees are and we live with whatever resources are given to those means.”

Frederick plans to further his personal education and continue to help UTSA grow.

“The President has asked me to help organize leadership programs, and I am very proud of the leadership programs that I have already helped organize, so I am excited to see how far we can push that envelope,” Frederick said. “My natural discipline is chemistry and I will probably teach some chemistry and stick my hand in a variety of over subjects. I want to be creative again.”