UTSA has been in existence for 50 years and has established itself as a great institution. It is not UT. It has its own culture and its own mission. As a Hispanic-serving institution, UTSA has continued to show its dedication to its student body: teachers encouraging students in the classroom and administrators making students feel like a family.
After 50 years of creating its own culture, UTSA should not sacrifice its identity to gain acclaim. In order for UTSA to attain top-tier status, university administrators may make decisions that could enhance the reputation of the university, but at the expense of the student body and the faculty.
Over the past few semesters UTSA has continued to invest millions of dollars into the athletics program. UTSA Football coach Frank Wilson’s salary is $675,000. In contrast, some UTSA faculty who teach full time make as little as $26,000.
There has been debate for several years about the value of paying college coaches larger salaries than professors. It could be because of America’s fascination with sports or the amount of revenue gained from successful college sports programs.
Whatever the case, the disparity between a coach’s salary and a professor’s salary should not be so enormous – especially if that head coach has not been very successful.
A top-tier sports program is not the reason this university has been successful for 50 years; it is not the reason students enjoy attending UTSA.
Students love UTSA because they believe this university is more than a school.
It is a place students can call home. It is a place where students can get to know faculty, administrators and staff. It is a place students can one day tell their kids about.
As UTSA moves into the next era, university leaders should continue to put the well-being of students first by listening to students’ opinions and ensuring adequate funding for academic resources. Funding athletics should be a distant third.
Happy Birthday, UTSA! You have a bright and exciting future.