While the UTSA Roadrunners made their mark on the football field over the weekend as they begin Conference USA play, it is in the classroom where the true surge toward coveted 'Tier One' university status is happening, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  UTSA is beginning its fall term with more than 60 new faculty members, many of whom were recruited from some of the leading universities in the world, from Harvard to Northwestern to the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.


  "If you do a little bit of research, you can tell where this university has come, compared to ten years ago," said Dr. Mehdi Shadaram, the interim dean of the College of Engineering.  "Compared to five years ago, compared to two years ago."


  Many professors say the reason they decided to come to UTSA was due to President Ricardo Romo's 'vision of growth,' Shadaram said.


  "I chose to come to UTSA because of the university's increasing research focus and because it has demonstrated its ability to meet the goals it has set for itself," said Matthew McCarter, a newly hired professor at UTSA's College of Business.


  Shadaram says professors feel they can be a real part of building the legacy at UTSA.  He says while the University of California Berkeley is a great university, it has 300 professors in its engineering school, and there is a sense that Cal Berkeley has already grown to the point where it is going to grow. 


  But at UTSA, he says, professors feel they can come in her and help lead that growth.


  He says the word is getting out to students as well.  While twenty years ago, UTSA may have been seen as a 'commuter school' for local students who couldn't get into UT Austin or Texas A&M, UTSA is now taking students who are turning down those universities.


  "Our graduate students come from a totally different background today, they are more global," Shadaram said.


  UTSA now has 1400 faculty members.