Dear Faculty,

I begin this year’s first installment of the President’s Quarterly Faculty Newsletter in gratitude to you for a successful start to the academic year. Over the summer months and especially in the last several weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet and speak with many of you as you prepared for the return of our students. I saw how intently you worked to create new opportunities, build connections and center yourselves in Mission so that our students may do the same. I would also like to thank all of you who took part in our recruiting and enrollment efforts, including our 13 new student orientations over the summer. By sharing stories and outcomes and being present at recruitment events, you helped shine light on what makes our academic programs and the people who teach them remarkable. With your help, we have enrolled the largest first-time-in-college class of students in history. I ask for your continued participation in this effort so that we can replicate and grow from this year’s success. 

Our Cardinals are now well into their studies, some having been back in the classroom or virtual learning space for more than a month now, and I have seen the extraordinary results of your efforts. In speaking with some of our students, new and returning, I hear again and again how deeply engaged they are in learning and how eager they are for all that lies ahead for them. Thank you for making their university experience so positive and for igniting the spark of intellectual curiosity that will serve them well in their studies and into their futures. Your work and care with our students is not only what makes UIW distinct from our regional peers, but it is what supports retaining our students, keeping them on target to remain with us year after year through graduation. 

Praised be the Incarnate Word!

Thomas M. Evans, PhD


New Leadership in Student Engagement

In recent months, we have welcomed several new employees to our faculty and staff community and welcomed some long-time employees to new positions. Among them are these three leaders supporting our Cardinals as they begin their journeys, as residents and finally, as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Diana Sanchez, Director of First-Year EngagementDr. Diana Sanchez, Director of First-Year Engagement

After more than 20 years at UIW and a tenure that included positions such as director of Residence Life, Dr. Sanchez moves to the office of First-Year Engagement (FYE) where she oversees efforts to support the success of first-year students. She oversees a team of FYE peer mentors who provide support, encouragement and information to their designated mentees.

Eric Booth, Director of Residence LifeEric Booth, Director of Residence Life and Housing Operations

Eric Booth comes to UIW from Iowa Wesleyan University where he served in many capacities, including vice president for Student Development. He also served as a director of Residence Life at Buena Vista University, Texas Lutheran University,  Reinhardt University, Schreiner University and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. At UIW, he oversees 11 campus residences and more than 1,100 resident students.

Brian Richardson HeadshotBrian Richardson, Director of Career Services

UIW’s new director of Career Services, Brian Richardson, brings with him a wealth of experience in career engagement in higher education, business development, brand marketing, and faith organizations. In his new role, he directs UIW’s efforts to support students' career development and their transition into the professional world. 


Welcome the new FAR

Dr. Laura Cannon, UIW FARDr. Laura Cannon, Assistant Professor of History, Faculty Athletics Representative

I am delighted to welcome Dr. Cannon as our newest Faculty Athletics Representative. As such, Dr. Cannon will serve as a liaison between the faculty and the athletic department. Through her work, she helps ensure that the academic mission, values and goals are part of UIW’s athletic programs. Per NCAA regulations and UIW’s faculty handbook, the FAR reports to the president and represents the university in our relationship with the conferences that we are associated with -- the Southland Conference, Ohio Valley Conference and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation – and the NCAA. 


Meet the Trustees

In June, we welcomed the UIW Board of Trustees for their first quarterly meeting of the fiscal year. At that meeting, the board welcomed seven new members. For a full list of UIW trustees, please visit the board website. 

UIW Board of Trustees


Dr. Susan Amaturo

Physician, Integrated Dermatology of Santa Rosa

Committee: Mission


J. Scott Beckendorf

President, Beckendorf Liquors, Inc./Easters Retail Services

Committee: Finance


Christie Cody 

Retired Portfolio Manager

Committee: Finance


Sr. Mary C. Henry, CCVI

CCVI Congregational Appointee

Committee: Governance


Beni Resendiz

UIW Student Government Association President

Committee: Mission


Cynthia J. (CJ) Warner

Retired President/CEO, Renewable Energy Group-North America

Committee: Academic Affairs


Mark Wittig

President, Wittgs Office Interiors

Committee: Mission  


Supporting Faculty Development

I am happy to share with you that since late spring, the University has received four important investments in our faculty in recognition of the exemplary work and service you provide to our students. These investments from university benefactors are designated to Endowed Faculty Development Funds, which have been established for each of UIW’s schools and colleges and are overseen by their respective deans. 

  • $250,000 for the H-E-B School of Business and Administration’s Endowed Faculty Development Fund
  • $120,000 to the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences’ Endowed Faculty Development Fund 
  • $100,000 from Trustee Dr. Susan Amaturo to the School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering’s Faculty Development Fund 
  • $50,000 to the Rosenberg School of Optometry’s Endowed Faculty Development Fund 

Working as One Word

UIW and UNC Faculty

Three faculty members, Dr. Michael Frye, Dr. Carlos Garcia and Dr. Mark Nijland, joined our Cardinals football team as they traveled to face the University of Northern Colorado. There, they met UNC faculty colleagues who they are collaborating with on a multi-institution grant. The NSF EPIIC grant is a multi-institutional grant consisting of UIW, University of Northern Colorado, Kettering University, and Western Carolina University with the long-term goal to increase external partnerships with local and regional industry and municipal partners by leveraging the various strengths of the four cohort institutions. 


Infrastructure Updates

Infrastructure Updates Campus

Since our last Faculty Newsletter in spring, we have made more progress toward updating our physical and digital infrastructure. 


Specialty Labs at the School of Physical Therapy

A Pediatric Lab, Innovation Lab, Kinesiology and Anatomy Lab, and Activities of Daily Living Lab were unveiled in August at the School of Physical Therapy. Designed to support student training and development, the labs include therapeutic tools, hospital and home setting simulations, product design and construction equipment, and classroom space.

New Facilities at the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine

In July, UIWSOM opened two spaces on their Brooks campus designed to support work-life balance for students, faculty and staff. A new fitness center includes new exercise equipment and weights for strength-training and a gaming room offers a lounge space with oversized monitors and consoles.  

Wifi Upgrades

Upgrades to our wireless internet were made in many different academic buildings over the summer break, including the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing, the School of Physical Therapy, Athletics, Mabee Library, Bonilla Science Hall and others. 

Founders Hall

Interior demolition continues on Founders Hall. Deans and heads of academic programs have conveyed requirements to project leads as necessary. Additionally, architects are preparing to submit the final construction drawings in late September which will help inform the pricing for the construction phase to come.

Energy Consumption Study

As we all know, energy use has been top-of-mind for all of us throughout this extremely hot season. As part of our efforts to ensure our ecological sustainability, UIW will be undergoing a comprehensive review of our energy consumption. 


President's Wine and Cheese with the Faculty

Thank you to all who attended this fall's President's Wine and Cheese with the Faculty. I appreciated having a moment to connect with so many of you and hear more about all that you are working on. I hope that it also provided you an opportunity to engage with your fellow faculty and get to know our vice presidents and some of our trustees a little bit better. I look forward to hosting another in spring.

Mark Your Calendars

Lunch with the President

7 Dates, 6 San Antonio Campuses

I am so pleased to launch the second year of the Lunch with the President event series. This year, Chief of Staff John Bury and I are hosting students, faculty and staff at all six of our San Antonio campuses over seven different dates. Registration for the remaining fall dates have been filling quickly and registration for spring dates will open in January. 

Lunch with the President

Heritage Day

October 11, 2023, 2 p.m., Chapel of the Incarnate Word

Please join us for this annual celebration of our faculty and staff members who have reached a milestone year in their employment. We also thank all in our employee community who serve our institution, student and Mission.

Published September 2023