Welcome from Dean Rogelio Sáenz

Welcome to the website of the College of Public Policy (COPP) at the University of Texas at San Antonio. We are glad you stopped by to learn more about the exciting activities, programs, and events taking place in COPP.

College of Public Policy Mission Statement

The College of Public Policy is dedicated to the advancement of public policy and practice that contributes to the public good within diverse local and global communities through nationally recognized research, educational programs focused on engaged learning, and collaborative partnerships.

College of Public Policy Vision Statement

The vision of the College of Public Policy is to become nationally recognized through our progressive programs and faculty research that engage communities for the development of collaborative solutions to improve the quality of lives.

College of Public Policy Core Values

The College of Public Policy subscribes to the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Core Values. Each of them is relevant to our College. The College of Public Policy cultivates social justice through dialogue, discovery, and service where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration, innovation, and transparency are fostered.

Departments in the College of Public Policy

Our College contains four departments (Criminal Justice, Demography, Public Administration, and Social Work). We offer bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Public Administration. In addition, we offer three master’s degrees in Criminal Justice & Criminology, Public Administration, and Social Work. We also offer a doctoral degree in Applied Demography. COPP has approximately 1,000 undergraduate majors and nearly 500 graduate students, including 24 working on their Ph.D.s in Applied Demography. The COPP faculty includes approximately 45 instructors and researchers.

Institute and Center in the College of Public Policy

COPP also contains the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research (IDSER) and the Policy Studies Center (PSC). IDSER contains the Texas State Data Center and the office of the Texas State Demographer, Dr. Lloyd Potter. The PSC, directed by Dr. Roger Enriquez, is committed to research that informs and improves policy dialogue and, ultimately, the quality of life in South Texas, with emphasis on historically disadvantaged populations. Engaging with stakeholders, our work enhances community empowerment.

Growth in the College of Public Policy

We are very excited about the major growth that has taken place in COPP in the areas of student enrollment and research activities. Over the last five years, our undergraduate majors have increased by 22 percent, with the number of our graduate students soaring by 71 percent, the fastest growth in graduate enrollment at UTSA. In addition, COPP faculty have generated approximately $4.8 million in research grants and contracts over the last five years.

Quest for Tier-1 Status

The College of Public Policy enthusiastically supports UTSA’s goal of becoming a Tier-1 premier public research university in the coming years. In particular, the College of Public Policy has four primary objectives.

1. National Visibility

We seek to increase the national visibility of our faculty and students through expanding the reach of their research, teaching/learning, and service activities.

Our faculty publish their work in leading outlets in their fields and have secured research grants from a variety of agencies and foundations to support and extend the reach of their research. 

Our faculty use their research to enrich their instruction of students in the classroom and use their research skills to contribute to the development of solutions to the most significant issues facing our local community and society.

Our students are engaged in a wide variety of internship, practicum, and policy-related activities in the local community, state, nation, and the world, through which they gain valuable experience to prepare them for careers as practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and policy analysts.

2. Diversity

As part of a leading Hispanic Serving Institution, the College of Public Policy has a primary objective to address policy issues affecting diverse racial and ethnic communities as well as to prepare students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to work in a society that will become increasingly diverse.

The College of Public Policy has the most racial and ethnically diverse student bodies at the undergraduate and graduate levels at UTSA.

Our faculty and staff are involved in a variety of activities designed to recruit a diverse student body and faculty and to establish a supportive and welcoming environment.

Our faculty are engaged in research activities and incorporate materials into their courses that address significant issues facing communities of color including the Latino and African American communities.

Our students are involved in a variety of internship and practicum experiences where they work directly with diverse populations.

3. Community Engagement

The College of Public Policy serves as a major forum for community engagement in the local community, region, and state. 

All parts of the College, including its departments, institute, and center, are heavily involved in the engagement of community residents and leaders in addressing a wide variety of social, economic, political, demographic, and environmental issues affecting our community, region, and state.

Our students dedicate thousands of hours each semester working in a variety of capacities in the local community including internships, research projects, and volunteer work.

Our graduates have successful careers in which they are involved significantly in community engagement. The latest San Antonio Business Journal “40 Under 40” list of the most prominent rising community leaders and business professionals in the San Antonio area includes three of our graduates.

4. Internationalization

Our world is constantly becoming smaller as globalization and technology have brought countries closer to one another. Currently, nearly all of the world’s population growth is taking place in developing countries, located primarily in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Our faculty are increasingly conducting research and presenting their research findings in international settings.

Our faculty are increasingly incorporating global perspectives into their courses.

Our students are increasingly taking part in study-abroad opportunities that allow them to gain international perspectives and experiences.

Our students are increasingly conducting internships and practica outside of the United States.

In sum, the College of Public Policy is not only the youngest college at UTSA, but it is also one of the most rapidly growing and dynamic units in our university. Through their research, teaching/learning, and service activities, our faculty and students are engaged in addressing some of the most critical issues affecting us locally and globally. If you are interested in learning more about any of our programs, please contact me.


Rogelio Sáenz
Dean of the College of Public Policy
(210) 458-2530
rogelio.saenz@utsa.edu

Advisory Council

Advisory Council Members

Dean Rogelio Saenz
Dean, College of Public Policy

AJ Rodriguez, Board Chair
Vice-President of External Affairs, Zachry Group

Stephanie Bocanegra Suarez, Vice-Chair
Integrity SA

Lauren Walthour, Fundraising Committee Chair
Retired, Walthour Consulting

Bonnie Conner

The Honorable Charles Gonzalez
Ogletree Deakins

Helen Coronado

Jeff Coyle
Intergovernmental Relations Director, City of San Antonio

Justice Patricia Alvarez
Justice, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Ken Brown
Attorney, Brown and Ortiz

Lauren Ferrero
Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright

Leticia Luna
Attorney

Marise McDermott
President and CEO, Witte Museum

Oliver W. Hill
President, NAACP - San Antonio Branch

Rick Noriega
President and CEO, Avance

In Memoriam

Dr. Juanita M. Firestone

Dr. Juanita M. Firestone was a Professor of Sociology in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She earned her doctorate in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984. She was the first Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria in 2002, a Senior Researcher at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, 2008 – 2011, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, 2009 – 2010. Her substantive research specializations included gender inequality, military sociology, health disparities, sexual harassment, and intimate partner abuse. Dr. Firestone was an exceptional mentor to countless students, many who still maintained close contact with her right to the end of her life. To honor her memory, her family and friends are establishing the Juanita M. Firestone Scholarship. The scholarship will help fund graduate students with research interests centering on issues related to diversity, inequality or social justice. Donations to this scholarship will help students that Dr. Firestone would have helped herself, and they will help carry her legacy forward.


To give, click here and select "other" under designation. Note the donation is for the Juanita M. Firestone Scholarship Fund in the special instructions box.