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Regents approve new doctoral program for SWT

Date of release: 09/01/00

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — The Texas State University System Board of Regents has authorized Southwest Texas State University to begin offering a new doctoral program in education.

Meeting Wednesday and Thursday (Aug. 30-31) in Alpine on the campus of Sul Ross State University, the board approved a proposal for SWT�s next Ph.D. program. If approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, SWT will begin offering courses in the degree program in the fall of 2001. The program will lead to a doctoral degree with a major in education. Doctoral students will complete a concentration in either school improvement or adult, professional and community education.

“This is an important step in our continuing effort to enhance the quality and prestige of SWT,” said Robert Gratz, vice president of academic affairs at the university. “We have a tradition of excellence in the training of educators, and our ability to offer this innovative doctoral degree will carry that tradition to the highest level possible.”

The doctoral program is designed for individuals in a variety of educational roles who wish to develop and refine their abilities to provide leadership for educational excellence. It will prepare education professionals to foster the development of individual learners in existing and emerging learning communities, including schools, post-secondary institutions, workplaces and community-based organizations. Both of the concentrations address significant national needs.

The SWT teacher education program has been rated by the Association of Teacher Educators as one of the top three programs in the nation. It produces more new teachers than any other Texas university. SWT currently offers doctoral programs in geographic education and environmental geography.

The regents also approved certification programs in a variety of academic disciplines. SWT was authorized to award certificates in computer science, geographic information systems (GIS), corporate communication and training, and mediation.

The computer science certification will allow students with non-computer science undergraduate degrees to acquire the necessary training in computer science to pursue graduate degrees in computer science or software engineering. Coursework will be offered on the campus and in the evening through the North Austin-Williamson County Multi Institution Teaching Center.

The GIS certification will meet a growing need for undergraduate and graduate students in other fields to gain a working knowledge of GIS technologies.

The mediation certification will fulfill state requirements for those seeking to serve as mediators. The certification in corporate communication and training is designed to enhance the quality of corporate communication in response to the extensive growth of large corporations in the central Texas area.

In other action, the board:

  • Authorized the local committee to award a construction contract with Spaw Glass for the Art, Technology and Physics Complex at a cost not to exceed $34 million.
  • Authorized SWT President Jerome Supple to execute a memorandum of understanding for a long-term lease agreement with the American Fighter Aces Association to lease a portion of university-owned land at McCarty Lane and Interstate 35 for the construction of a museum.
  • Awarded a contract of $5.59 million to Stewart-Matl Ltd. of Austin for the residence hall code compliance project, phase one.
  • Added specializations in the speech communication program in interpersonal communication, organizational communication, persuasive communication and communication studies.
  • Authorized a purchase order of $1.3 million to WilTel Communications to upgrade the existing telephone switch and for telephone instruments.
  • Elected Dionicio “Don” Flores vice chair of the board to complete the current term that runs through Dec. 31, 2000.
  • Appointed Stanley Naumann to the SWT Support Foundation.
  • Authorized the university to employ Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam Inc. of Houston to prepare contract documents for the replacement of a failed chiller at the cogeneration plant and to upgrade cooling tower capacity.
  • Authorized the university to increase the correspondence instruction fee to $63 per semester credit hour from $57 and to implement a $25 administrative fee for electronically delivered correspondence courses.
  • Acknowledged gifts to the university of $10,000 or more.
    • United Defense L.P. donated a torch system for material testing to the SWT Institute of Environmental and Industrial Science. The gift is valued at $200,000.
    • The Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation donated $100,000 in support of the library technology and faculty technology development programs.
    • The Angel Foundation contributed $60,000 in support of the Katherine Anne Porter creative writing project.
    • The university received $30,000 from the estate of W. Morgan and Lou C. Rose for the Rose Creative Writing Scholarship.
    • Motorola contributed semiconductor process equipment valued at $25,381 for use by the Physics Department.
    • San Marcos CenturyTel donated $25,000 for the Century Telephone of San Marcos Endowed Scholarship.
    • SWT received $15,000 from the Cecilia Young Willard Helping Fund to support the San Antonio Missions Guide project.
    • Reliant Energy Entex contributed $15,000 in support of the SWT Centennial Campaign.
    • David L. Huff donated books and journals valued at more than $10,000 to the Department of Geography.
    • The Lower Colorado River Authority contributed equipment valued at $11,766 for the SWT radio station.
    • Michael R. Young donated $10,000 for geography scholarships.
    • James H. Dotson contributed $10,000 for the Dotson Family Scholarship.
    • Multiple items for the Southwestern Writers Collection were donated by actor Sam Shepard. The estimated value of the items exceeds $10,000.
  • Approved special employment contracts with head volleyball coach Karen Chisum and head women’s basketball coach Suzanne Fox.
  • Approved operating budgets for system components.
  • Approved system legislative appropriation requests.
  • Authorized the university to convey less than one acre of land along Hunter Road to the Texas Department of Transportation for the widening of Hunter Road.
  • Approved an easement to the San Antonio Water System to install a monitoring well on SWT property at McCarty Lane and Interstate 35.
  • Pending approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, authorized the university to purchase property at 508 and 512 North Street.
  • Authorized the university to lease residential property at 115 and 119 Buena Vista St. and 616 Moore St. and to extend the agreements on a year-to-year basis.
  • Authorized the university to lease space in the River House to the Greater Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council.
  • Deleted the master of education program in political science.
  • Changed the name of the management of vocational/technical education program under the master of education degree to a major in management of technical education.
  • Amended the laundry service contract with Web Services.
  • Sold $16 million in system revenue financing bonds to Bank of America at an interest rate of 5.29 percent to finance the fire code compliance and renovation projects in the Tower, Jackson Hall and College Inn on the SWT campus. The bonds were rated A1 by Moody�s and A+ by Standard and Poor�s. Moody�s also upgraded its rating of SWT�s outstanding housing system and utility system revenue bonds to A2 from A3. The favorable bond ratings reflect the state�s economic vitality, steady enrollment prospects, consistent operating performance and manageable debt levels at SWT.
  • Received fourth class day reports for summer sessions.
  • Approved internal audit plans from system schools.
  • Approved faculty developmental leaves and routine personnel matters.

The Texas State University System includes Angelo State University in San Angelo, Lamar University-Beaumont, Lamar University Institute of Technology in Beaumont, Lamar University-Orange, Lamar University-Port Arthur, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, SWT, Sul Ross State University in Alpine and Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College in Uvalde.

Members of the board are Nancy R. Neal of Lubbock, chair; Dionicio “Don” Flores of El Paso, vice chair; Patricia Diaz Dennis of San Antonio; John P. Hageman of Austin; Daniel S. Hallmark of Beaumont; James A. “Jimmy” Hayley of Texas City; Pollyanna A. Stephens of San Angelo; and Macedonio “Massey” Villarreal of Missouri City.

Chancellor Lamar Urbanovsky manages the system’s office in Austin.