What Does Our Future Hold?

Samuel De Leon

Current university President Ricardo Romo has taken administrative leave pending a review of his conduct. The presidential search committee continues to search for Romo’s replacement, who is set to start Sept. 1. To help the search committee with the task of creating a shortlist, here are some necessary qualities to continue our university’s success.

Experience

Experience in higher education is a necessary quality for the next university president. It is difficult to understand the challenges of the educator without having been an educator in collegiate-level education, this is especially true. Professors are required to handle so much already; from research to a full-time job, these educators must constantly maintain with a full schedule. If the next president has not experienced these difficulties first-hand, executive communication is more likely to fall on deaf ears. The importance of this quality is reflected in the ability to lead the faculty and rally around the objectives of the next president.

Goals

President Romo came to our university in 1999 and made UTSA history as the longest serving president through a set of clearly established goals, such as UTSA earning tier-one status and UTSA becoming a university of first choice. Not all the goals set were actualized, but the idea of a goal is to have something to work towards. The next president needs to be very clear and transparent with the set objectives of the university, whether it is to attract a more diverse student body or raise admission standards, the next president needs to clearly state what they aim to achieve.

Understanding

This quality is especially important for two reasons. The next president should understand the goals of the previous president in an effort of continuity. The next president also needs to understand the concerns of the student body. When understanding the frustrations of the student body, I do not mean the issue of parking.

President Romo met with student representatives every month. This ensured communication between the president and the student body, but it was more than that, more than just a channel of communication, these meetings displayed a genuine interest in what students thought about the university.

The next president of the university has some big shoes to fill, this is a fact. This does not mean that the next president should feel overwhelmed or intimidated. As a student body, it is in our interest to welcome the next president and work with that person to the best of our abilities. In the meantime, pay close attention to what the Presidential Search Committee makes public and voice your opinion by nominating candidates with the link that the UT System provides to students which included below.

https://www.utsystem.edu/board-of-regents/ut-san-antonio-president#nominations