“Dr. Espy leads by example and her deep impact on our faculty, staff and students deserves to be celebrated.”
Since Espy joined UTSA in June 2018, the university has seen notable advancement in academic excellence, student success and institutional visibility. UTSA has increased access for students from low and middle-income families through the Bold Promise program and has achieved record overall enrollment, with two out of every three students representing a group historically underserved by higher education.
The number of degrees awarded has grown exponentially and the average time to achieve an undergraduate degree has dropped to 4.4 years. Graduates are better prepared to enter the workforce through the innovative Classroom to Career initiative that has increased career-focused learning experiences in the academic curricula and has strategically aligned academic programs with workforce needs.
New programs and colleges including the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design, the College for Health, Community and Policy, and the School of Data Science were created to better serve students towards their future career success. Certifying the university’s intentionality in serving Latino students and achieving positive student outcomes, UTSA earned the Seal by Excellency from Excellency and Education in 2020.
Through the 2020 Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative, UTSA has created an outstanding intellectual community of faculty scholars who are diverse, trained at the best universities across the globe and committed to inclusive, high-quality instruction for deepened student learning. In 2022, UTSA was classified as a Carnegie R1 institution, a significant milestone in UTSA’s strategic vision to become a model for student success and a great public research university.
A long-standing advocate for mutual community partnerships, Espy worked with UT Health San Antonio colleagues on many efforts to benefit the city, including joint and articulated degree programs, the development of the new University of Texas School of Public Health at San Antonio, and the expansion of Wellness 360, an innovative, integrated student health and mental health care delivery model program on UTSA’s campuses.
She also played a pivotal role in the effort to combine the college-level art programs of the Southwest School of Art (SSA) and UTSA into the new UTSA Southwest Campus—building upon SSA’s rich legacy of community art programs to advance the arts and arts education in San Antonio and the region.
Espy also recently chaired the Institute of Texan Cultures Centennial 2068: Community Stakeholder Visioning process to gather input from the community, local stakeholders and subject matter experts to envision the next 50 years of the ITC and its museum, ensuring this treasured resource is available to future generations.
“I’m immensely grateful for Dr. Espy’s leadership at UTSA, especially her commitment to advancing student success and faculty excellence initiatives that create new opportunities for our students to pave pathways toward impactful careers,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “Dr. Espy leads by example and her deep impact on our faculty, staff and students deserves to be celebrated. I am so proud of all she has accomplished and will continue to accomplish for our community.”
Espy has earned a national reputation for advancing institutional, academic and student success, promoting faculty and staff development, and deepening university-community engagement during more than two decades in the higher education sector. As UTSA’s chief academic officer, she oversees eight academic colleges and the new School of Data Sciences, as well as the academic support divisions and other offices that advance institutional success.
Prior to joining UTSA, Espy served as senior vice president for research at the University of Arizona, graduate dean & vice president for research & innovation at the University of Oregon, and associate vice president for research & acting graduate dean at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.
Espy earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rice University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology and clinical neuropsychology, respectively, from the University of Houston. Additionally, she completed a clinical/pediatric psychology internship at the University of Louisville School of Medicine/Bingham Child Guidance Center and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and is a licensed clinical psychologist. A translational clinical neuroscientist and investigator, Espy is also an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Psychological Association. She holds the Peter T. Flawn Chair at UTSA.