Posted by University News Service
Aug. 24, 2010
Texas State University will continue a proud history of steady growth in prestige and success, university President Denise Trauth said Tuesday.
Delivering her annual “State of the University” address at the Fall Convocation, Trauth said she is often asked why growth in terms of enrollment and academic programming is important to the university.
She cited figures compiled by the College Board that indicate the United States has fallen to 12th place among 36 developed nations in the percentage of population who are college graduates, and that Texas is below the national average.
“A nation or a state reaches its peak because of cultural, scientific and economic achievements coalescing. These kinds of achievements are typically attributable to college graduates. Texas desperately needs more college graduates, and Texas State University needs to continue to be a part of this trend and we will do that. We have been a part of the cultural, scientific and economic achievements of the state and nation since our founding. It’s what we do,” said Trauth.
She predicted another record enrollment for Texas State this fall -- at least 31,500 and possibly above 32,000. Hispanic student enrollment, she said, should reach 25 percent of the total, allowing Texas State to achieve Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) status.
“We will become the fourth – and the largest – HSI in Texas. ‘The Rising Star of Texas’ is more than a slogan for us. We want to be a shining star for Texas, delivering exceptional opportunities for students of every ethnicity, and we want to be the model HSI in Texas. We are well on our way toward that goal,” she said.
Trauth said that Texas State was among four institutions recently cited for innovations in academic policies and programs that better serve Latino students.
In terms of academic programming, Trauth said the university began a new doctoral program in criminal justice last fall and received permission to plan two more Ph.D. programs. Texas State will open its new St. David’s School of Nursing this week at the Round Rock campus. Formal grand opening and building dedication ceremonies will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26.
One of the doctoral programs on the drawing board will be in materials science, engineering and commercialization, a program recently boosted by a grant of $1.85 million to the university and the City of San Marcos from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. That grant will support the construction of the Research and Commercialization Center at the corner of McCarty Land and Hunter Road in San Marcos.
“This business incubator is a key component of our future doctoral program in materials science, engineering and commercialization. This program will prepare graduates who can effectively participate in research that spans multiple fields… Texas has no doctoral programs that couple technological innovation with entrepreneurship. Our program will do that,” she said.
Texas State currently has $443 million in capital construction projects in some phase of planning or completion, Trauth said. The university will break ground in October for the north campus housing project, a three-building cluster that will house 612 students.
Texas State broke ground for the new Undergraduate Academic Center in June. The building will house the PACE (Personalized Academic and Career Exploration) initiative, a one-stop location for freshman advising, career planning and mentoring.
“It’s a place where our first-year students can match their interests and abilities to possible work fields and find out what it takes to get where they want to go,” said Trauth.
In addition to the PACE Center, the building will also house the University College and the departments of Sociology, Political Science and Psychology.
The annual fall convocation kicks off the academic year at Texas State, which enters its 108th fall semester in 2010.