Dear Faculty,

Welcome to the final installment of the President’s Faculty Newsletter for the 2023-2024 academic year. These few short weeks until the year’s culmination in our commencement ceremonies are among the busiest and most exciting of the year for our Cardinals and their families. 

We have had much to celebrate in recent weeks. To name them all would require much more room than a newsletter allows, so I will bring to your attention just a few highlights. In March, UIW Artistic Swimming brought home the University’s first ever National Championship! This week, our Men’s Tennis team earned their regular season conference championship. These two teams boast some of the highest GPAs among our athletic teams and I thank you all for your support to allow them to be champions both in competition and in the classroom. We also celebrated our new CCVI Spirit Award Winners, Terry Peak, instructional designer, and Luis Valdes, pre-medicine track Rehabilitative Sciences major. We also celebrated Match Day where 100 percent of our osteopathic medicine residency candidates were matched. I want to share my gratitude to you for supporting our students at every point in their journeys, but especially now as they push to finish their courses successfully and some prepare to transition to the next phases in their lives.  

I would also like to recognize and offer my thanks to all members of the faculty and academic leadership working on UIW’s reaccreditation efforts. This is a tremendous undertaking involving nearly 120 employees and 80 author contributors. I am grateful for your diligence and cooperation through this lengthy process and your help to ensure we are successful in this critical pursuit.

Praised be the Incarnate Word!

Thomas M. Evans, PhD



Strategic Priority Spotlight

As we look ahead to our next Strategic Plan, we continue to work toward the Strategic Priorities established in our current plan. One exciting point of progress comes from our priority dedicated to strengthening ties with our Sister ministries.

 UIW Broadway campus

Priority: Create opportunities with other CCVI sponsored ministries that will strengthen personal and professional bonds among our fellow ministries.

The Spirit Reach Contemplative Path Project is a collaborative effort spearheaded by Sr. Yolanda Tarango, CCVI congregational leader, that will impact UIW’s Broadway campus, the Sisters’ property and our neighboring ministries. Like Mission Reach and Museum Reach, it is an extension of the San Antonio River Walk. The pedestrian trail will extend from the lily pond at Brackenridge Park, crossing under Hildebrand to UIW continuing to the Blue Hole and ending at the Headwaters Sanctuary. The project secured $10 million in funding from Bexar County for the walking trail and is currently in the design phase. Priority Champion Cindy Escamilla, vice president for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, represents UIW in this collaboration with the Sisters and the San Antonio River Authority. We will continue to work with our current and future partners on this project as it moves through coming phases across the estimated completion timeline. 


Strategic Planning Update

Significant progress toward our next Strategic Plan is also underway. These efforts are led by Vice President for Strategy and Enrollment John Bury and have engaged members of our community from many different departments and schools.

My position paper "Embodying the Mission in a New Era: Inviting Collaboration, Serving Students Better & Working Together to Ignite the Potential of Our Global System" was published, shared via email with the community and is currently available on our Strategic Planning 2031 website. A Spanish version is currently being produced and will also be published on the site once complete. I invite you to share your feedback and thoughts via the form embedded on the page.

Listening sessions began and continue with participants from across the San Antonio campuses. These sessions will extend into June for employees of our San Antonio and Mexico campuses.  


EAB’s FAFSA and Tuition Discounting Presentation


I would like to thank all our faculty and staff who joined me for the third installment of our webinar series with higher education research firm EAB. I invited Duncan McLean, vice president of Partner Success, and Kathy Ruby, Financial Aid Optimization principal, to provide a research-based overview of the challenges associated with the delay in rolling out and processing this year’s FAFSA and how universities, including UIW, are adapting and managing during this critical phase in the enrollment process. I also asked that they provide more detailed insight into tuition discounting among universities and UIW’s success utilizing that strategy.

In case you missed it, we are making a recording of the presentation available to our faculty and staff community via SharePoint.

FAFSA and Tuition Discounting Presentation

If you did not receive the email or have any issue with the link, please contact Marissa Rodriguez, director of Presidential Communications, at marodr33@uiwtx.edu or extension 5096 for support. 


Enrollment Update

three students chatting

UIW began receiving FAFSA information from the Department of Education in late March. However, distribution continues to be slow, and a significant percentage has arrived with processing errors. Our Admissions and Financial Aid teams have been working diligently to assess application information, address errors with students, and develop the strongest possible financial aid packages.

At the same time, our Enrollment Services and Marketing team is at various stages of executing a multi-phase effort to reach potential and incoming students. Their work engages these students at key points in the enrollment process with as much information as possible to support their confirmation and enrollment for the upcoming year.


A University of Choice

UIW administration building facade

We are committed to ensuring UIW remains a top choice university for students. This work spans the University, with student-facing services and student-supporting services evaluating needs, developing responses and executing plans that further foster the supportive environment that sets UIW apart.

Fundraising Update

One of the ways we do this is by working to provide aid packages that are as robust as possible. This semester, we celebrated two major gift commitments.

  • The first came from UIW Trustee, alumna, and long-time member of the UIW community, Christie Cody. The daughter of beloved faculty member Dr. Keith Tucker, Cody grew up with a strong sense of Mission and felt called to support it through the establishment of The Christie Tucker Cody Endowed Scholarship in honor of her father, which will fund scholarships for undergraduate students in need.
  • The second comes to UIW from the Hector and Gloria López Foundation. Through a very generous gift of nearly $2.5 million, the foundation established the López Scholars program, which will fund the full cost of attendance for 15 Latino students for up to five years of their undergraduate studies. Additional opportunities, such as study abroad and others, will also be funded by the program.

Supporting the work of the faculty also contributes to this end. Under the leadership of Rick Kimbrough, vice president of External Relations, multiple endowed faculty development funds have been established, including at the H-E-B School of Business and Administration, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering, and Rosenberg School of Optometry. The Advancement team is working with generous alumni to broaden this effort to extend to even more schools and programs.


Pathways Update

Another approach to ensuring we remain a university of choice is to create sufficient and supported pathways for students at any point in their education journeys to find the right program for them at UIW.

  • UIW has established some 18 agreements with other universities and colleges to create pathways to various programs.
  • We also continue our collaborative efforts with Alamo Colleges (ACD) to support their students’ university trajectories. Currently, Northwest Vista College provides largest inflow of ACD students to UIW.
  • This spring, we also celebrated a new agreement between Methodist Healthcare and the School of Professional Studies that supports the hospital system’s workforce development needs and the continuous development of their healthcare professionals and staff.

Founders Hall Update

founders hall sign

Progress has also been made on Founders Hall and is expected to steadily increase over the next 60 days.

  • Demolition is mostly complete though will overlap with some construction through mid-May.
  • The true construction phase has begun on Level 3, and work is underway for infrastructure such as electrical, fire suppression lines and more. Fireproofing of ceiling will occur directly afterwards. The progress or order of construction will be from Level 3 down; however, concurrent work or aspects of construction will occur throughout the building. 
  • By June 1, 2024, we expect 200 to 250 tradesmen on site daily. Once fully ramped up, we anticipate this level of activity through the construction phase. Parking notices have been disseminated through the Word Today.
  • Various options for the entrance/crosswalk from Hildebrand Avenue to Founders Hall are being reviewed with the City of San Antonio. Our priority is a very safe, ADA-compliant, and highly efficient crosswalk.  

Inviting Your Engagement

In previous newsletters, I have shared that I am working toward helping to build bridges and mutually beneficial relationships between our institution and the organizations in and around San Antonio where I serve as a board member.

It is my hope that through collaborations and even partnerships, we can support UIW’s academic efforts. In past semesters, I have facilitated faculty engagements with SwRI (Southwest Research Institute) and BioMedSA. You can find a list of all organizations in my bio. If there are any organizations listed that you feel present an opportunity for collaboration, please reach out to me. 


Mark Your Calendars

Baccalaureate Mass

May 10, 2024, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Chapel of the Incarnate Word

Commencement Ceremonies

May 11, 2024, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Freeman Coliseum

Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs commence at the morning ceremony. Health professions programs commence at the 3 p.m. ceremony.

UIW Commencement Website

Published April 2024