Dear Faculty,

The new semester is now well underway. For me, it begins in gratitude to you and to our staff for all that you do for our students. I also want to thank you for your patience and your spirit of community that I saw so evidently as we mourned the passing of Dr. Farrell Webb in November. I was moved to see how many of you offered condolences, prayers, and your support and assistance to Dr. Dimitri Tamalis during his transition from vice provost to interim provost.    

Spring 2024 is a new beginning and holds so much promise for our students, for our university and for all of us. Below, I provide an update to our strategic planning efforts, invite your engagement and highlight some special events. The months ahead are sure to be very busy and productive. I look forward to working with you to move our university forward. 

Praised be the Incarnate Word!

Thomas M. Evans, PhD


Strategic Planning

UIW Clocktower

Since launching the President’s Faculty Newsletter in Fall 2022, I have shared an update on our strategic priorities in each edition. I am proud to say that over these last six years of implementation, we have made tremendous progress. Each priority was led by a champion and steered by a committee of leaders from multiple disciplines and departments. They exemplified what it means to work together as “One Word to be No. 1 in all that we do,” and the results of their efforts speak for themselves (but I would like to share a few highlights anyway). We have: 

  • Celebrated $100 million in funds raised 
  • Established MOUs with each of the ministries of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word 
  • Upgraded digital infrastructure and continued improving physical infrastructure according to Campus Master Plan
  • Improved service and support for our military and veteran students and their families, leading to our current ranking as the No. 1 university for veterans
  • Grown and strengthened our brand recognition and expanded recruiting areas
  • Developed and implemented high-value experiences for students, namely the First-year Experience Seminar for all first-time-in-college students and a mentoring center guided by a Faculty Advisory Board as part of the broader Title V FLIGHT program
  • Developed and implemented strong DEI efforts within our Catholic identity and increased student and staff participation in in-person worship and prayer
  • Established new pathways to UIW from the high school, two-year-college, four-year-college, graduate and workforce development levels 

In late fall, we began initial work toward what will become our next Strategic Plan. I asked John Bury, Chief of Staff and vice president for Strategy and Enrollment, to lead the effort.  

We published a landing page Strategic Plan 2031, that includes an overview and an updated timeline that outlines activity planned through the rest of the semester. Updates and any supplementary information will be posted here. 


Inviting Your Engagement

As I shared in previous newsletters, I currently sit on several boards of organizations in San Antonio and beyond. It is my hope to support our academic efforts and community service work by helping to facilitate mutually beneficial relationships and potentially foster partnerships between you and these organizations. You can find a list of all the boards of which I am a member in my bio. If there are any organizations listed that you feel present an opportunity for collaboration, please reach out to me. 

With your partnership, we engaged SwRI (Southwest Research Institute) to offer some members of our faculty a tour of their facilities and a discussion about ways we can work together. We brought faculty together with leaders at BioMedSA, as well. I have also been delighted to see of the interest and of the participation from our faculty in building these valuable bridges.


EAB's State of the Sector

EAB's State of the Sector Presentation

As part of our ongoing effort to share information about the higher education sector and our challenges and opportunities, we have invited our partner and leading higher education research firm EAB to present to our faculty and staff. In November, we welcomed back Sally Amoruso, EAB’s Chief Partner Officer and advisor to university leaders and boards on institutional strategies and strategic planning, to present “State of the Higher Education Sector: Reckoning with Relevance.” Sally has previously presented to our Board of Trustees and our faculty. 

I want to thank the many who joined in on the call and asked insightful questions. For those unable to attend, an email was distributed to all faculty and staff from the UIW President’s Office on December 5 sharing the link to the “EAB State of the Sector 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. 

We hope to bring EAB back this year for another enlightening session and will share more once those details are available.


Mark Your Calendars

Lunch with the President, Spring 2024

The Lunch with the President series continues this semester with engagements at noon on the following campuses:

  • Broadway campus on Tuesday, February 13
  • School of Osteopathic Medicine on Wednesday, March 27
  • School of Professional Studies, Northwest Center on Thursday, April 11
Emails will be sent to students, faculty and staff of each host campus in advance of the lunch with a link to sign up for the event. Space is limited and is reserved on a first-come first-serve basis. 

Published January 2024