UTSA welcomes over 71 new faculty members after having to release 69 from their service this fall due to COVID-caused budget cuts


Josh Peck

The rowdy statue in the Sombrilla is wearing a mask. UTSA announced that they were eliminating 243 staff and 69 faculty positions for fiscal year 2020 due to budget cuts caused by COVID-19

Breahna Luera, News Editor

A recent UTSA Today article announced UTSA’s addition of over 70 new faculty members — 68 tenure/tenure-track (TTT) and 3 non-tenure track (NTT) — to seven of its colleges for the Fall 2020 semester. This comes just short of two months after UTSA’s announcement of their fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) budget reductions, which included letting go 69 NTT faculty as well as 243 staff positions.

The pandemic’s financial impact on UTSA necessitates budgeted expense reductions across every area of the university, including some reductions to our workforce,” President Taylor Eighmy said in an email to university faculty and staff on July 1. 

Of the 69 NTT faculty members let go, 33% have had less than one year of service at UTSA, 33% have had between one and five years of service, 15% have had between six and 15 years of service, 16% have had between 11 and 15 years of service, 2% have had between 16 and 20 years of service, and 1% have had over 30 years of service. According to Chief Communications Officer Joe Izbrand, the NTT faculty positions that were not renewed were “primarily those who just taught one course.”

The College of Business lost zero faculty members but gained 11; the College of Engineering and the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning lost 10 faculty members combined but gained 16; the College of Liberal and Fine Arts lost 13 faculty members but gained seven; the College of Education and Human Development lost two faculty members but gained 12; the College for Health, Community and Policy lost 24 faculty members but gained 12; the College of Sciences lost 20 faculty members but gained 13; and both the University College and the Honors College gained and lost zero faculty members. 

“When it comes to tenure-track faculty, the individual colleges spend upwards of two years planning their future academic needs, obtaining budgets for the faculty positions to support those programs, and then recruiting and hiring,” Izbrand said in response to an inquiry on how the university prepared and budgeted for the new faculty members.

According to UTSA Today, of the 71 new hires, 87% of the TTT faculty earned their terminal degrees from Carnegie R1 research institutions while 71% earned their terminal degrees from AAU member institutions. Additionally, five of the new hires are department chairs.