SAN MARCOS — Southwest Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth outlined the priorities and directions the university should take as it prepares for its future under a new name during her annual convocation address delivered Tuesday in Evans Auditorium on the SWT campus.
Denise M. Trauth addresses the SWT faculty & staff during the new academic year convocation.
Click here to see audio & video of convocation.
“Our revised mission and core values statements, statements that reflect our identity and guide us as we plan for the next five years, should include the following elements: public, student-centered, doctoral, premiere, and diverse,” said Trauth.
Trauth said that, as a public university, SWT’s very existence mandates public service.
“As we make choices about the academic programs we offer, as we consider alternatives for the services in which we engage, as we contemplate adding new programs that can impact the future economy of Texas, as we think about the optimal size of our campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock, we must constantly ask ourselves, ‘Is this what the State of Texas needs from our university?’” she said.
Trauth said teaching and learning, particularly at the undergraduate level, are the core enterprises of the university.
“We value engaged teaching and learning based on dialog, student involvement and the free exchange of ideas. This leads us to interact with our students in ways that teach them honesty, integrity, diligence, courage, compassion, fairness and respect. All this defines a student-centered university,” Trauth said.
She said the university would continue its effort to become classified as a doctoral-granting institution under the Carnegie Foundation classification system “We chose to go down a road that would gradually add doctoral programs across the university. We now have them in three colleges and via our planning process we will figure out what the next two or three doctoral programs should be. Implicit in being a doctoral university is the requirement that our faculty are engaged in scholarly, creative and research activities,” the president said.
Trauth defined a premiere educational institution as one that is always engaged in the pursuit of excellence and said that would continue to be the university’s goal.
“Excellence is about choices and we continue to make the choices every single day that result in a premiere university,” she said.
To pursue greater diversity, Trauth said the university would seek to be named a Hispanic Serving Institution by the federal government.
“We already are 18th in the country when one looks at the number of baccalaureate degrees we award to Hispanic students, and we rank 22nd in the country in total enrollment of Hispanics. However, in order to achieve HSI designation by the federal government, we must increase our percentage of Hispanic students from our current 18 percent to 25 percent,” she said.
SWT will become Texas State University-San Marcos on Sept. 1, and Trauth encouraged the university community to seize the opportunity afforded by the new name with a renewed sense of optimism.
“The name Texas State University cannot cause us to be more prestigious than our academic programs warrant. However, our new name does embody and make manifest the prestige that we have long possessed, a prestige that was perhaps unknown to some without a connection to the university,” said Trauth.