SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — The Texas State University System Board of Regents has authorized Southwest Texas State University to develop proposals for nine new doctoral programs to be submitted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) over the next four years.
Meeting Thursday and Friday on the campus of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, the regents approved the SWT academic program development plan that calls for the development of nine new master’s degree programs in addition to the nine doctoral proposals. The regents have already approved one of the doctoral degree proposals: a doctor of philosophy with a major in education, and that degree plan is awaiting submission to the THECB.
Other doctoral programs that will be developed, presented to the regents and, if approved, carried forward to the THECB during the next four years are doctor of philosophy degrees in aquatic resources; computer science; health services administration, research and policy; geographic information science; discrete mathematics; mathematics education; geographic systems of the United States; and a doctor of physical therapy degree.
“This is an ambitious plan,” said Robert Gratz, vice president of academic affairs at SWT, “but it is in keeping with our effort to enhance the quality and prestige of Southwest Texas and to answer recognized higher education needs in the region.”
The regents also authorized the university to redesignate the SWT Department of Music to the School of Music within the College of Fine Arts and Communication. The redesignation recognizes that the department has met certain criteria established by the university for a department to achieve "school" status. Those criteria include size, complexity, external reputation, potential contributions to goals identified in the university’s strategic plan, and tradition within the academic discipline of comparable units organized as schools. The SWT Department of Music employs 34 faculty members and has 382 students enrolled in a variety of degree programs.
The regents also elected news officers. Elected chair was Nancy Neal of Lubbock. Elected vice chair was Don Flores of El Paso.
In other SWT-related action, the regents:
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; James L. Sweatt III of De Soto; and Macedonio “Massey” Villarreal of Missouri City. Chancellor Lamar Urbanovsky manages the system’s office in Austin.