Leading SA: President of UTSA , Dr. Taylor Eighmy, discusses university growth

Dr. Eighmy shared details on the opportunities available to the San Antonio community

SAN ANTONIO – Over recent years and months, UTSA has seen an impressive downtown expansion, an emphasis on computer science, and of course, the football team’s success.

Dr. Taylor Eighmy, President of UTSA, joined Leading SA to talk about what has helped with the growth and what comes next.

“The city of San Antonio and Bexar County are really strategic partners for us, and we’re all in on this concept of who we educate and how we educate. We’re deep believers in this notion that a four-year degree is one of the greatest equalizers and so important to affect trajectories. But we also care about helping the San Antonio economy grow. And we’re really excited about supporting data science, cyber, AI, those kinds of things as we grow our economy here in San Antonio,” Dr. Eighmy said.

Dr. Eighmy shared the importance of UTSA’s growth in downtown San Antonio.

Just recently, the university unveiled San Pedro 1, its latest downtown expansion.

“That was very special. We talked about San Pedro two coming. It’s the property right across San Pedro Creek from San Pedro 1 that is going to be a very, very large and impressive building that focuses on expanding the kinds of things that we’re doing in San Pedro 1, but also with a focus on experiential learning and on things related to getting our young people out in the community, learning and internships and things like that. So it’s going to have a very important additional focus for us as we continue to place make downtown and as we continue to prepare the future workforce for San Antonio,” Dr. Eighmy said.

The downtown expansion is directly linked to the city of San Antonio and the community’s local economic efforts.

“We are really deeply aligned with that effort because the things that we’re focusing on the two buildings on San Pedro Creek, are directly tied to the economies that we’re trying to grow here in San Antonio. And so we work closely with USAA, with H-E-B, with Valero, with NuStar, with Rackspace. All of these companies are really important to us and where we’re going. We work closely with the military and with NSA, Texas and Port San Antonio. All of that is very important to our ecosystem that we have here around national security. It’s a it’s a pleasant challenge to have all of these strategic partnerships that we work together with to grow economic development so that the kids that we graduate from all of our universities can stay here in San Antonio,” Dr. Eighmy said.

As many growth opportunities, it wasn’t done alone.

Dr. Eighmy discussed the collaboration between UTSA and local organizations to achieve its goals.

“There are some very special ecosystems here in San Antonio. We have a huge national security ecosystem here. We have a big health and health care provision and health informatics focus. We have a huge manufacturing focus. All of these things are important to the future of San Antonio. I am really delighted in the things I get to do with Greater SATX and Jenna Saucedo-Herrera’s efforts around growing our economy here,” Dr. Eighmy said.

One of the big priorities going forward is keeping the young San Antonio talent in San Antonio.

The president said the university hopes the growth will attract students to stay within the Alamo City after graduation and help those on the path to their degree.

“We want all of our road runners taking advantage of all the opportunities we have here in San Antonio to work while they go to school with paid internships in particular. And if you can have that program in place for all of our road runners, the chance of keeping these road runners here in San Antonio because they’ve already got a history of working with a not-for-profit or a company or city government or whatever it is. The opportunity is to keep these young people here in San Antonio, which we care about so much increases dramatically because of this focus that we have on experiential learning. So we’re all in on keeping runners here in San Antonio,” Dr. Eighmy said.

About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.