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Regents approve academic program development plan for SWT

Date of release: 11/07/00

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:

  • Authorized the board and the chair of the SWT Local Committee to execute a construction contract with the low qualified bidder for repairs to the Spring Lake Dam before the regents meet again in regular session in February. A contract is expected to be awarded in December.
  • Authorized the university to employ Garza Bomberger and Associates of San Antonio to do a feasibility study, prepare preliminary plans and design an addition to the Health Science Building with a total project cost not to exceed $3.6 million.
  • Authorized the university to employ Croslin and Associates of Austin to do a feasibility study, prepare preliminary plans and design renovations to the Education Building with a total project cost not to exceed $2.4 million.
  • Approved preliminary plans prepared by Shah Smith and Associates of Houston for the southeast utilities expansion project at an estimated cost of $1.2 million and authorized the firm to prepare final documents and seek competitive bids.
  • Authorized the university to add a certificate program in computer information systems.
  • Authorized a purchase order of $1.9 million to the Oracle Corp. for an enterprise database management system and associated staff development, management tools and maintenance and support.
  • Acknowledged gifts to the university of $10,000 or more. -- The Roy and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation gave $304,475 in cash for scholarships. -- The Bobcat Club received vehicle use, which was valued as a $20,000 membership for the year, from Red Simon Ford Co. -- The Austin Area Teachers Federal Credit Union gave $10,000 to the SWT Development Foundation for athletic sponsorship and scholarship support.
  • Awarded a contract to C.P. Snider Construction Co. of Austin for $788,000 for renovation of the Academic Services Building.
  • Authorized the university to issue purchase orders not to exceed $1.6 million for furnishings and equipment for the residence hall code compliance project.
  • Accepted construction of the Admissions Center Annex at a cost of $698,627 as designed by the Delgado Design Group and constructed by Stokes Construction Co.
  • Authorized a purchase order of $259,675 to the L.D. Tebben Co. of Austin for reroofing the Alkek Library and the Freeman Aquatic Building.
  • Accepted the Aquarena properties financial report for FY 2000.
  • Amended the vending services agreement with ABA Vending.
  • Approved routine curriculum changes and received 12th class day reports.
  • Set course fees, approved routine budget amendments and personnel matters, received internal audit reports of system schools and accepted out-of-state and out-of-country travel reports.

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.