Are you a new faculty at UTSA? Here is some information that might help you.
But this might also be useful for other faculty/staff at UTSA too (?!)
If you have more suggestions and/or comments please send them to me:  <My Homepage>
Disclaimer: This information is to the best of my knowledge. I do not hold any responsibilty for incomplete or inaccurate information.
Last update: Feb 27, 2018

    Before coming to UTSA:
  1. Looking for apartments? There are agencies which will do the apartment hunt for you *FREE* of charge for you. These agencies get paid by your landlord/management when you sign the lease. I would recommend Apartments Now (they have a 5/5 rating on google and I have used them)
  2. If you are signing up for a house ask the landlord/management for employer discount. Sometimes you can get a discount if you are a UTSA employee
  3. Know which course you will teach in your first semester. This will help you to plan ahead of time.
  4. If you are assigning a textbook you will have to give the information to the campus bookstore so that they can order the book for you.
  5. If you are an international, then get a international driving permit befor you come to San Antonio. This is valid for 1 year. You can use this till you get a Texas License.
  6. If you are an international, then you will need to get an H1B before you start working at UTSA
  7. If you are an international, then you will have to apply for a social security number before you work.
  8. If you are an international, get a state identification for your significant other. This is very useful in various places, e.g. while taking a national flight.
  9. If you plan to apply for Green Card you should keep this ready:
    1. Scanned copies of all your certificates, degrees, passports, visas, work permits, I20 etc.
    2. Birth and Marriage certificate for you and your family.
    3. Translation of your degrees/marriage certificate (if not in English).
    4. Pay stubs from past employers.
  10. If you are moving from another state you will need to renew your driving license within 90 days of moving. More information here:
  11. Get a state issued id card, incase you dont want to get a license. This can be used as an identify proof while flying within the US. More information here:
  12. If you are moving from another state and have a car, then you need to renew inspect and register you vehicle withing 30 days. More info is here:
    General stuff:
  1. Bank: Set up a bank account in your first week at UTSA. The bank will give you a few checks. You can use the cheque book to set up a direct deposit so money goes to your account automatically.
  2. Bank: There are quite a few banks in the vicinity, e.g. Wells Fargo and Chase. However, none of them have an ATM on campus. The only bank on campus with ATM is Frost Bank.
  3. Compliance training, Mandatory to do within a month of joining:  --> Online Training. There will be such training sessions occasionally and you will be notified by email.
  4. Training to help you to teach and do research:  --> Classroom Training
  5. Paycheck, Leave, Benefits: -> UTShare/PeopleSoft
  6. UTSA email (microsoft maintained email is preferred): -> faculty/staff resources Webmail (This is
  7. UTSA email (google maintained email is also available but is not very common for faculty to use this one): -> student resources myUTSA mail (This is
  8. Do you have question related to UTSA that you would like to be answered? Type your question in the toolbar on this page If you do not see your question please subit that question through the same url. This way you will help improve the database of questions.
  9. If you find any discrimination and sexual harassment, you must report to the office of equal opportunity services. The contact person is Leonard Flaum.
  10. Retirement options: You have 90 days from your first day at UTSA to sign up to choose Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). By default you are in Teacher Retirement System (TRS) plan. You will need to talk to somebody in HR to make the change,
  11. Benefits: You have 1 month from the date of enrolment and first day of the beginning of the academic year to change health plan (e.g. dental, medical, vision). Get in touch with people in HR.
  12. In case you are having a newborn, you can have him/her enrolled in your health plan. You need to act in the first month.
  13. To view paychecks. -> UTShare -> PeopleSoft > Employee Self-Service -> Payroll and Compensation.
  14. Accepting payments for work outside UTSA. Be sure that this does not constitute a conflict of interest. Email if in doubt.
  15. Want to book a flight for work travel? You have to use UTSA assigned agents. Corporate travel: 210-366-1142
  16. Take a virtual tour of UTSA.
  17. For media related questions contact the communications office:
  18. If you need to buy stuff you have to go through peoplesoft. Your admin can help.
  19. While travelling do not book tickets by yourself. There is a university vendor for this and you have to go through them. Talk with your admin.
  20. Are you a member of a professional organization (e.g., ASME, IEEE)? You can use your F&A money or startup funds to pay for this.
  21. Purchases less than $500 can be done by credit card (called pro-card) by your admin.
  22. Purchases greater than $500 can only be done through by setting a purchase order. The procedure is as follows: 1) Set up a vendor using a vendor form. 2) Get a quote from the vendor. 3) Set up a purchase order based on the quote. 4) Send the purchase order to the vendor and they ship the order. 5) The central receiving receives your order and the make the payment to the vendor. Allow about a month from time to set up vendor to getting the order at your office through this route.
  23. If you are buying a lot of equipment it might make sense to have your own pro card. That way you do not have to submit the bills to your admin. However, you will have to go through a training program to know how and when to use the pro card.
    Teaching related stuff:
  1. Teaching help is available see
  2. First week of class you have to upload the syllabus (pdf version only) on bluebook.
  3. You might want to reserve a book in the library for your course.  You will need to find the librarian assigned to your course and send him/her an email. Link to the library staff directory
  4. If you a need a book for your course, dont buy it yourself. The publishers are happy to send evaluation copies, which are also called examination copies, to you. Just go to the publisher's website and search for representative for your university and contact him/her.
  5. Some books are very expensive. You might be able to negotiate a cheaper deal for your student by talking directly to the personnel who is assigned ot your university by the publisher. I did this for one course and got a book for half the original price for my students.
  6. Only for Engineering: You Department might be undergoing teaching accreditation. The course you teach might need to be assessed for ABET accreditation. ABET accredition needs you to collect samples of student works and analyze them. This has to be done throughout the course. Talk to senior faculty in your department if your require to collect documents for ABET.
  7. Most faculty use blackboard to manage their courses (e.g., grading, posting lecture notes).
  8. You can add your teaching assistant/lab assistant/grader yourself on the blackboard page. Just google search for related information
  9. A tablet can be a great investment for teaching purposes.
  10. Every semester you have to submit grades two times; once in the middle of the semester and one at the end of the semester. The dates are announced well before the semester starts. Keep those dates in mind before you decide curriculum and exams.
  11. Most departments require faculty to have a certain minimum number of hours set aside for Office hours. For engineering this is 3 hours per week.
  12. Get class photos from --> ASAP
  13. Course evaluations take place about 3 weeks before the end of classes. The results are available about 3-4 weeks after grades are assigned. Student feedback can help you to improve the course. Quite often the turnout is low but you can improve that by giving extra credit, for example, bonus HWgrade. The UTSA evalution team will send you the list of students who did completed the reviews a week before class ends, so that you can use this information to award extra credits.
  14. When on travel you need to make alternate arrangements for classes. Here are some ways:
    1. Records you lecture and give it to your students.
    2. Ask another faculty to deliver the lecture for you.
    3. Teleconferencing your lecture.
  15. UTSA policy on student dishonesty:
  16. You have to assign a letter grade, A+, B, B-, C, D, F, at the end of the semester. You can find what these grade points mean by visiting this webpage:
  17. Manually entering grades at the end of the semester use ASAP: --> ASAP. Note you can auto-transfer grades from blackboard by following instructions from online learning that are sent to you at the end of every semester. This involves two steps: a) giving the column a special name (e.g. ASAPFinal), and b) Set this column as "External Grade". Note that F and I grades will not transfer automatically. You will need to manually enter them on ASAP.
  18. If a student wants an extension, for example for special project, honors thesis, then you can give them an incomple (I) grade. This lets the student complete the course without a detrimental grade showing up on their transcript.
  19. Want to teach a course with service learning component. Contact Brian Haldermann ( Want to know more about service learning then click this link:
  20. Classroom schedule procedures (reserving rooms for exams etc.)
  21. Evaluating your teaching. Shelley Howell,  (Teaching and Learning Consultant) will do a classroom observation and a quick course diagnostic. Just contact her by email
    Research related stuff: (Credits: Jaclyn Shaw ( VPR's office did substantial contributions to this section)
  1. You will have to go through the Research Service Center (RSC) assigned to your college before you can submit any proposal. You should plan on meeting the people in your RSC as soon as you get to UTSA. The contacts for RSC can be found here:
  2. Proposal resources: Make an account in cayuse. This is needed for anybody who will be submitting proposals internally or externally.
  3. Proposal resources:  Make an account in Scival Funding and sign up to receive notifications for relevant grant/funding opportunities.
  4. Need students for research: Try the following.
    1. Ask other faculty if you can a talk to the appropriate classes.
    2. Formulate a year long project and get seniors to take it up as a senior design project. Find and speak with the senior design project course coordinator.
    3. Advertise on your personal/lab website.
    4. Ask other faculty advertise your research in their class.
    5. Find motivated students in the class you teach
    6. If you need undergraduate researchers connect with Donovan Fogt. He runs the UG research program at UTSA.
  5.  Need collaborators: Try the following.
    1. Hang out in JPL Faculty room.
    2. Send unsolicited emails to faculty.
    3. Send emails to chairs asking to give recommendations
    4. Attend any social functions organized by your dept., your college, or UTSA.
    5. Attend training programs: teaching as well as research.
    6. Look at PI's on the limited submission page.
    7. Use UTSA Faculty Research Interests Search Engine (information pulls from Digital Measures)
    8. Talk with personnel in the Research Service Center in your college or other colleges for suggestions.
  6.  You/your students can access papers on sciencedirect etc from outside the campus.
    1. Click on this link (Better to bookmark this using Ctrl+D)
    2. Log into your utsa abc account. Thats it! You can now download what you want.
    3. You can also use utsa log in to Engineering Village.
    4. You can also use Library Quick Search.
  7. There are many workshops to help you be more effective at research, teaching and others stuff. More details and sign up page is here:
  8. There are some proposals in which the sponsoring agencies limit the number of proposals. Some of the past opportunities can be found here: 
  9. There are some proposals in which the sponsoring agencies limit the number of proposals. These can be found here:
  10. There are some internal seed grants available. These are INTRA, GREAT, CONNECT, SALSI. The deadline are typically in February/March and results are announced in June. Contact Jaclyn Shaw (, for information in VPR Seed Grant Programs.
  11. For guidance on research related events (conferences/symposium/networking activities), then Contact Diane Elizondo ( and/or Jaclyn Shaw ( They are both awesome. Highly recommended!
  12. Need information on postdoctoral support programs available at UTSA, visit
  13. You will invariably get requests to write letters of recommendation. Set up your own standards for writing letters.
  14. Get a scanned copy of your signature on your computer. These are very useful for e-signing documents.
  15. Read Accelerate 2025: UTSA’s Framework for Top Tier Research to understand UTSA’s research strategy: You can leverage this in your proposal, i.e. tie your goals with the goals of UTSA. This usually makes a favorable impression on federal programs like NSF. 
  16. Quick stats about proposal productivity (applied + granted), (needs abc123 login information).
    Some other Tips:
  1. Alan Soho tip: In summer, crack open windows a bit while parking the car to prevent the glass from cracking. However, be aware that this makes you car less secure and might lead to break in.
  2. Alan Soho tip: Carry jumper cables. Because car batteries typically die in 2 summer due to the hot summer. UTSA police will help to jump start while on campus. Call 210-458-4242.
  3. Alan Soho tip: Campus police help with locking keys in your car as well as putting air in your tires, flat tire replacement, or escorts to gas station (if you have a gas container and you ran out of gas).
  4. Alan Soho tip: There are speed traps, places where speed limits change suddenly and the police catch you for over-speeding. Google for "speed traps San Antonio" to know more.
  5. Alan Soho tip: Quite a few companies offer discounts for UTSA employees. Check this link out. For example, I got 25% off on verizon. For this you have to go to verizon website and sign up as a business customer using your utsa email.
  6. HungDa Wan tip: Do you want to take visitors to the Riverwalk and want to get free parking? If you have a UTSA parking permit, you can use that to park at the Institute of Texan Culture (801 E César E. Chávez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78205) free of charge and walk to the riverwalk. It is about 10-15 min walk. Also, the Alamo is about 20 minutes walk from the Institute. 
  7. Eric Christiansen (Martha Sidury Christiansen's spouse) tip: Employee Assistance Program helps with services such as Legal Services (Attorney), Financial Assists, Child/Elder Care, Health etc. For example, free consulation with an attorney and 25% discount on services.
  8. Melanie Register tip: If you are a faculty and want free Microsoft Office for work purposes on your computer, then go to: my.utsa,edu --> webmail --> Office on the top left corner and indicate that you want to download office. You will need your utsa email (the to active the license. 
  9. Ashwin Malshe tip: Choose to pay for UTSA parking through paycheck. The money paid from paycheck is pre-tax, so you will save the money you would have spent paying taxes.
  10. If you want to park long term at the San Antonio Airport go for the Green Lot of Red Lot. The cost is $8 per day and is 33% cheaper than Long Term Parking which costs $12 per day.
  11. REC center: Faculty/Staff need to pay a nominal fee per month ($30/month) to use the REC center. However, Fridays are free for Faculty/Staff. To maximize savings you want to pay month to month, that way you are not paying for weekends and holidays, if they occur at the end of your monthly access period.
  12. Your account is the google account and gives you unlimited free strorage (yes, education accounts offer unlimited storage). Still better is the fact that the account stays with you for life. So you can use the account to keep backups. For example, keep dropbox empty by putting stuff in google drive.
  13. To get a parking permit visit this link. Also, use the same link to register a new car or update car details. Note that you can use the parking permit on a number of vehicles as long as you register the various car on this link:
  14. Health elections: You can change your health elections for the academic year (e.g., add dental plan) in a narrow time window of 15 days in the month of July. You will receive an email from with a pin to access your records.
  15. Adding people to health plan. You can add people/ benefits only at a particular time of the year (see above). However, the exception is when you are having a baby. In which case, you have 30 days after the baby is born to add to your health plan.
  16. If you lock yourself out of office, you can call the Campus Police at 4242 to help you get in.
  17. Looking for eating on campus. See this: would highly recommend RoadRunner Cafe, about $8.5 for a buffet. If you purchase the meal plan (to be purchased in JPL food court), you can eat for as low as $5.5. You would use your ID card to pay. The meal plan does not expire.
  18. Redirection phone calls from office phone to your cell phone. OIT can do this for you. Call on 5555 or send email and set up a ticket.
  19. For visitors to campus, you can hand over validation stickers that gets them free parking. It is a great idea to keep some validation stickers handy (e.g. in your wallet) and give it out to your visitors. You department secretary has access to the stickers and can give some to you.
  20. JPL 4th floor can also be used to organize other facutly hangouts. Reserving a room: -> Reserve space in faculty center. Faculty can get access to the space after regular hours through this website:
  21. Want a peaceful/alternate place to work OR a nice place to meet with other faculty? Use faculty center on the 4th floor of JPL.
  22. Get access to buildings that you will be using. Talk to Dept. Administrators/managers.
  23. Get access to printer, copier in your dept. Learn how to copy, scan, and fax. 
  24. Know the IT co-ordinator in your College. The IT co-ordinator will help you with computer s/w for your lab and with website related stuff.
  25. General s/w issues and for getting new computers you need to contact OIT:
  26. Have you got new computers and would like UTSA to install software? There are two steps; (1) Get a UTSA tag by contacting inventory (2) Once the computer is inventoried, set up a ticket with OIT by (i) calling 5555 or (ii) Email
  27. Calling within UTSA through office number. Dial the four digit number. Local calls dial 9+seven digit number. National call 9+1+10 digit number.
  28. Tax documents. UTSA will provide tax document, that is the W-2 form, early January. Go to UT Share / Employee Self-service / View W-2.
  29. Crowdfunding: Successful crowdfunding programs:
  30. The Do Seum: Great place to have Kid's Birthday Parties but can also reserve their rooms for conferences etc. See this link to rentals:
  31. Did you wonder if UTSA has a video production group? They are in the Office of Information Technology.
  32. If you are an international and looking for discounts on insurance/mortage rates for car and house, you will need a *good* credit history. The easiest way to get a good credit history is by owning a credit card and paying your bills on time. But you cannot get a credit card without having credit history. A circular situation! There is a solution though. Get a secure credit card (it is like a debit card), build you credit history in your first year and then go for a regular credit card.
  33. All maps are here: Here is a downloadable main campus map:
  34. Roadrunner graphic and other logos and templates are here:
  35. UTSA standard colors are Dark blue and Light Orange. If you have artwork, you can set the RGB color codes to reflect the UTSA standard color code. The color codes are:
    UTSA Blue: RGB values 12,35,64 and UTSA Orange: RGB values 241, 90, 34. More information such as hex & CMYK values is here:
  36. Want to use the UTSA logo in your research: Please read this webpage on dos/donts and for UTSA logo:
  37. Only for Engineering: If you have some cool media/pictures/happening events going on consider sending information to Deborah Sillimanwolfe ( and she will put this on the College Of Engineering Facebook page. You can also ask Debbie to take pictures for you.She is awesome. Highly recommended! 
  38. Only for College of Engineering: For Engineering related software, create a ticket here:
  39. Only for College of Engineering: Submit news stories, website change form, s/w request form:   
  40. All Departments are required to provide formal mentoring to all new faculty. The guidelines for mentors is here:
  41. UTSA historical data (Student/Faculty):
  42. Do you want facilities to fix something in your lab/office. Some of it might be paid while some services are free. To get started you need to generate a work request. Go to this website 1) Submit work request, 2) Select corrective facility, housekeeping,... , 3) Indicate your office/lab number and 4) Use the account number DXM048 for the cost center. After a few days facilites will get back to you with a quote.
  43. Lab swipe access. If you want a list of people who have swiped their UTSA card to get access to your lab, you can email Dianna Olukotun ( to request the list. Indicate the room and dates. 
  44. Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA): You can allot upto $5000 to pay towards Daycare expenses. This has to be done at the beginning of the fiscal year (typically Sept.) or when you are first employed at UTSA. You pay for day care as normal but later submit the bills to UT for reimbursement. You save pre-tax dollars. For example, if you pay 20% tax and if you use the full $5000 on a year then your savings would be 20% of $5000 = $1000. Steps are
    1. Allot $ for FSE
    2. Collect receipts from daycare.
    3. Use Maestro to file for reimbursement. The form is here and has more details.
    4. There are three options: fax, mail, and online filing. The online filing is the fastest and needs to be done by logging into It is highly recommended that you call Maestro customer car while creating an account on myUTflex. Their phone number is: 844.306.8147.
  45. Student organizations on campus can be found on this link: