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Health Science Center wins two UT System awards

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014 · Volume: XLVII · Issue: 6

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President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, congratulates endowment coordinator Maria Aguirre and Susana Narvaez-Godinez, director of endowment administration, from the Office of Institutional Advancement.
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President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, congratulates endowment coordinator Maria Aguirre and Susana Narvaez-Godinez, director of endowment administration, from the Office of Institutional Advancement.clear graphic

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By Rosanne Fohn

The UT Health Science Center San Antonio received two Chancellor’s Excellence Awards at the UT System (UTS) Seminar for communications and development professionals held recently in Austin.
  • The Office of Institutional Advancement received the Chancellor’s Excellence in Endowment Administration and Compliance Award based on its administration and stewardship of 419 endowments with a portfolio market value of more than $455 million, as reflected in its annual financial report to the UTS.

    Debbie Morrill, M.S., is vice president for institutional advancement and chief development officer. Susana Narvaez-Godinez is director of endowment administration and Maria Aguirre is the endowment coordinator.

  • The WebLife Communications Change Management Team received the Chancellor’s Excellence in Internal Communications Award for a creative film production, “Dawn of the Living Web,” that promoted awareness, interest and involvement in the university’s new website initiative.

    Luke Rosenberger of Web Initiatives led the team with Yvette Sadler from the IT Project Management Office. Other key team members were Natalie Gutierrez, M.A., Office of Institutional Advancement; Bo Wich, Creative Media Services; Sue Bolden, Web Initiatives; and Rosanne Fohn, Office of Communications.

    Gutierrez, director of communications for the Office of Institutional Advancement, wrote and submitted the entry on behalf of a large team of faculty, staff and students who worked together to produce and participate in the film.
“To win one Chancellor’s Award in a year is rare, to win two is exceptional,” said Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., in a congratulatory letter to President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP.

Excellence in endowment management
In 2002, the UTS issued endowment management guidelines and began requiring its 15 institutions to submit an annual report outlining the management of their program.

From 2003 to December 2013, the Health Science Center grew from 192 endowments with a portfolio market value of $272 million, to 419 endowments valued at $455 million. In addition, the endowment administration program has received no corrective recommendations for improvement for the past three years.

“What is most important to me is the care that Susana and Maria take in stewarding each of our donors,” Morrill said. “Our team is dedicated to making sure that every new endowment agreement clearly explains the purpose the donor wants to accomplish. Then we work hard to make sure that the earnings from each endowment are used to support the purpose the donor intended. It is an important responsibility of trust, and Maria and Susana, and all the members of our team and our Endowment Compliance Committee are committed to doing it well. This award recognizes that, and it makes me very proud.”

UTS institutions are held accountable for ensuring that:
  • The endowment funds are invested, reinvested and spent appropriately;
  • Faculty positions funded by endowments are filled with qualified holders;
  • Individuals who work with or hold endowments receive training; and
  • Donors are furnished with annual financial reports.
“Susana and Maria do a tremendous job collecting the annual reports of use from our faculty endowment holders, and they work closely with our advancement team to see that every donor gets a personal letter from the president explaining how their endowment earnings were used during the past year,” Morrill said. “We also monitor our online Endowment Management Training course. Faculty and staff contact our office often to discuss an expenditure they want to make from their endowment earnings and whether it is on track with the donors’ wishes,” Morrill said.

“Our job is to be the voice of the donor. Everyone on our team is committed to these principles, and we hold ourselves to the highest standard of integrity to be sure we are listening to understand what the donor intended, and we do that,” she said.

Some of the members of the WebLife team include (left to right) Erica Ripley, Phillip James, Bo Wich, Bob Merrill, Natalie Gutierrez, Luke Rosenberger, Yvette Sadler, Yeman Collier, Dr. Omid Rahimi, Rosanne Fohn and Sue Bolden.
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Some of the members of the WebLife team include (left to right) Erica Ripley, Phillip James, Bo Wich, Bob Merrill, Natalie Gutierrez, Luke Rosenberger, Yvette Sadler, Yeman Collier, Dr. Omid Rahimi, Rosanne Fohn and Sue Bolden. clear graphic

 

‘Dawn of the Living Web’
In summer 2013, the Health Science Center began the process of redesigning its website. “We needed to explain to our university community the importance of why we needed to invest in a website redesign and how it could help advance the university and its missions,” Gutierrez said. “Another challenge was how to communicate, in a fun and engaging way, a topic as tedious and technical as Web redesign to our audiences.”

A team consisting of Information Technology, Communications and Video Production staff members came up with an innovative, creative and effective way to communicate the need and value of an improved website — a comedy fright film called “Dawn of the Living Web” that premiered on Halloween in the Holly Auditorium.

Produced completely in-house in about a month with a limited budget, the film, featuring top management, faculty, staff and students, met all the project’s goals. Following the premiere, 488 of the 600 people who saw the film responded to a survey. Eighty-six percent agreed or strongly agreed that the Web redesign would help advance the university’s mission.

The video produced by the WebLife team was truly unique, Chancellor Cigarroa said in his letter to President Henrich, adding, “The ‘Dawn of the Living Web’ engendered pride in your institution through a highly creative and cost-effective campaign.”

WebLife team
Those instrumental in the project’s success include:

President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP;
Yeman Collier
, vice president and chief information officer, Information Management and Services;
Mary Delay, M.B.A., vice president for communications and chief of staff, Office of the President;
Brian Cartee, senior director of IT Services, Academic & Business Technology Solutions;
Natalie Gutierrez, M.A., director of communications in the Office of Institutional Advancement;
Bo Wich, manager of video production, Creative Media Services;
Luke Rosenberger, director of web initiatives, Web Initiatives;
Yvette Sadler, IT project manager-intermediate, Project Management Office;
Robb Long, television producer/director-intermediate, Creative Media Services;
Bob Merrill, television producer/director-intermediate, Creative Media Services;
Phillip James, producer contracted by Creative Media Services;
Omid Rahimi, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Cellular and Structural Biology;
Erica Ripley, Ph.D. student;
Sue Bolden, web designer-intermediate, Web Initiatives;
Rosanne Fohn, public relations representative-senior, Office of Communications;
Cynthia Adcock, special events producer, Office of the President;
Tina Luther, M.P.A., communications specialist, Office of Communications;
David Baker, supervisor of medical illustration, Creative Media Services;
Nancy Place, director of the Health Education Center, Creative Media Services; and
Many faculty, staff and students who volunteered to participate as actors.



 
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