The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Matson: ‘We have a lot of work to do in 219 days’

By Amanda Lozano

Texas A&M University-San Antonio President Teniente-Matson focused Jan. 14 on incoming freshman and sophomore students during her Spring 2016 convocation remarks.

Matson and colleagues shared a vision to build out the campus and improve services for all students. The university’s first class of first and second-year students will arrive in late August.

“We have a lot of work to do in 219 days,” Matson said, referring to the university’s plans to become a four-year institution. “I am convinced that no other public university in the nation is going to be able to do what we are aspiring to do, for the demographic we serve here.”

In preparation for the next academic year, university administration will hire more than 30 new faculty to accommodate enrollment growth. Matson told faculty the many ways they can continue to serve students. The first way, she said, is to know more about the student body.

Staff and faculty listened to President Matson Jan. 16 at Spring Convocation 2016 in the Central Academic Auditorium. Photo by Amanda Lozano
Staff and faculty listened to President Matson Jan. 16 at Spring Convocation 2016 in the Central Academic Auditorium. Photo by Amanda Lozano

“There is a lot we know about our current students that we need to use to build on for our future students,” Matson said. “While it feels like a new adventure and a new journey, it is based on a lot of data that we already have.”

During convocation presentations, speakers presented facts and figures intended to help faculty focus on student success in the future.

Dr. Holly Verhasselt, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, shared comprehensive data describing the university’s student body, including average age, number of degrees awarded, and number of alumni.

Verhasselt, who works closely with the office of institutional research, said data collected will change as new enrollees alter the student demographic.

For a breakdown of university-related data that will be published in the upcoming Fall 2015 Fact Book, the presentation can be viewed here.

Quick Glance:

  • The bulk of students will be transfers for the next 10 years.
  • A 2013 alumni survey showed the average age of A&M-San Antonio students was 33. It also stated there are more students enrolled over the age of 55 than there are traditional students.  
  • The average is expected to drop with the enrollment of underclassmen students in fall semester.  

Matson invited faculty to join upcoming informal chats and forums. She added she’s receptive to ideas, innovation and ongoing communication.

Following her first year as president, Matson plans to consolidate the two campuses by bringing the College of Business and other departments over from Brooks City-Base Campus.

Recipients of The Five-Year Excellence Award receive some recognition Jan. 14, for their service to the university during Spring 2016 convocation at the auditorium on main campus. Photo by Amanda Lozano
Recipients of The Five-Year Excellence Award receive some recognition Jan. 14, for their service to the university during Spring 2016 convocation at the auditorium on main campus. Photo by Amanda Lozano

In recognition, Matson presented 26 faculty and staff  awards, praising them for five years of service to the university. Among those included Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Brent Snow who will step down next month.

During the convocation breakfast earlier, Snow announced his resignation from his position as provost. He closed out the convocation remarking on his memories and next steps.

“After our last graduation ceremony, it was a beautiful day, and I sat down and wrote a couple of thoughts,” Snow said. “As I was conducting the graduation ceremony, I had a wonderful feeling looking out at the audience. For some reason, I had a flashback over previous ceremonies that I had been a part of…

I have heard senators, presidents, the speaker of the house, and many others and I have enjoyed all of them. I have not, however, attended or presided a graduation ceremony that brings a smile to my face more than this university. Remember this, never forget this: the world is our campus, starting on the South Side.”

Esperanza Anaya, executive assistant to the provost, stated he will remain at the university. Details will be published as they are announced.

About the Author

Amanda Lozano
Amanda Lozano
Editor
Amanda Lozano adores dogs, Chicano literature, fine food and drink. As Editor of The Mesquite, she sets the agenda for campus and community reporting at A&M-San Antonio. Lozano worked previously as a reporter and photographer at La Prensa Newspaper and wrote articles for other local publications including The Rivard Report and SAFlavor.com. When not being journalistic, she either performs in an all-female mariachi group or can be found pigging out at local mom-and-pop eateries.
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