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Board of Regents approve, discuss changes to SHSU, TSUS during quarterly meeting

News Editor

Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 18:11

Sam Houston State University students could see an increase in student center fees among several other changes to campus after The Texas State University System Board of Regents voted on several key decisions in their quarterly earlier this month.

The Board voted to allow TSUS Chancellor Brian McCall to seek legislative approval necessary to amend the Texas Education Code that would raise the student center fee cap from $100 to $200 per semester and $50 to $75 per summer term for universities within the system.

The regents also approved a decision to request legislative approval to raise the recreational sports fee from $100 to $200 for each long semester and $50 to $100 for the summer session after a similar request from Gibson to address the growing student body.

McCall will address these items in the 83rd legislative session in January.

In other action, the regents approved SHSU to extend its license agreement with Pearson Learning Solutions, Inc. from Jan. 1, 2013 through August 31, 2016.

The regents also made several changes to academics at SHSU. The regents approved the addition of a fully online Bachelor of Business Administration degree offered by SHSU. The degree joins two other online undergraduate degrees at SHSU.

The regents also approved to divide the College of Criminal Justice into three separate departments: criminal justice and criminology, forensic science and security studies. These changes will go into effect in Fall 2013.

The regents voted to make changes to the Capital Improvements Program to include new buildings at SHSU including a new academic building at SHSU at the estimated cost of $1.5 million. The regents also voted to modify the CIP to reflect plans for an Agriculture and Engineering building at SHSU at an approximate cost of $28.2 million.

With approval from the regents, the university can begin engaging in programming, support and design for each project.

TSUS university officials also discussed several system-wide issues in several break-out meetings.

In Academic Affairs, officials discussed ossible changes to core curriculum, and raising degree standards to eliminate low-producing program. However, these changes would not affect SHSU as much, according to Jaimie Hebert, Provost of Academic Affairs.

Officials also discussed implementing a Common Course Numbering system to make it easier for students to transfer between universities.

While officials did not come to any decisions regarding distance learning fees in the Student Services meeting, SHSU Associate Vice President for Student Services Keith Jenkins emphasized the need to maintain balance between providing a college culture and an online education.

Officials discussed impacts of distance learning fees on the students’ learning environment. They also reached a consensus to continue collecting tuition along with separate fees for services and departments versus a two-pot fee collection system.

In terms of finances, TSUS officials discussed a possible tuition freeze which would raise tuition by 18 percent, but would aim to provide stability for students and families. However, officials disagreed over the costs of the possible freeze.

The next quarterly meeting for the Board of Regents is scheduled for Feb. 14-15 in Austin.

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