San Marcos — A new degree, program changes, a building name change, and faculty promotions and tenure were all approved Friday for Sam Houston State University by its governing board.
The Texas State University System Board of Regents took the action during its regular quarterly meeting in San Marcos.
The board authorized Sam Houston State to offer a Doctor of Education Degree with a Major in Special Education to be implemented upon final approval by the regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
SHSU President Jim Gaertner told the regents that the degree will be obtained directly from coursework, dissertation research and related experiences in special education rather than as part of an educational psychology degree.
“The tremendous growth in the area over the past decade, especially south of the university in Montgomery County and the North Houston area, makes such a program necessary and viable,” he said. “This growth is reflected in the university’s enrollment, which has shown significant increases over the past five years.”
The proposed degree program changes, subject to final approval by the regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, include:
• Changing the name of the Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Agriculture to a BS Degree with a Major in Interdisciplinary Agriculture;
• Changing the name of the Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Agriculture and a Program in Agricultural Mechanization to a BS Degree with a Major in Agriculture and a Program in Agricultural Engineering Technology;
• Changing the name of the Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Industrial Technology and a Program in Industrial Management to a BS Degree with a Major in Industrial Technology and a Program in Industrial Safety Management;
• Changing the name of the Master of Arts Degree with a Major in Speech Communication to an MA Degree with a Major in Communication Studies; and
• Changing the name of the Master of Arts Degree with a Major in Psychology and a Program in School Psychology to a Specialist (SSP) Degree with a Major in School Psychology.
In other business, Sam Houston State University was authorized to re-name Academic Building II, which houses the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, in honor of Margaret Lea Houston, the wife of General Sam Houston.
“The re-naming of the building would honor Mrs. Houston’s contributions to our state and her family’s legacy, and it would recognize her as one of the most significant women in Texas history,” Gaertner told the regents.
“Moreover, it would strengthen and enhance university tradition, while giving distinct identity to the facility, which is across the street from the Sam Houston Memorial Museum where two of the Houston family residences are located,” he added.
Twenty-eight Sam Houston State University faculty members were awarded tenure, promotions or both.
Those receiving both tenure and promotion, and their new rank, include Gregg Buck, associate professor in theatre and dance; Rhonda Callaway, associate professor in political science; Mark Gaus, associate professor in health and kinesiology; Craig Henderson, associate professor in psychology and philosophy; and Shirley Johnson, associate professor in educational leadership and counseling.
Also, Sarah Kerrigan, professor in criminal justice; Douglas Kingman, associate professor in agricultural and industrial sciences; Chi-Sing Li, associate professor in educational leadership and counseling; David Mayes, associate professor in history; Ramona Noland, associate professor in psychology and philosophy; and Willard Oliver, professor in criminal justice.
Also, John Strait, associate professor in geography and geology; Mary Swarthout, associate professor in mathematics and statistics; Markland Tuttle, associate professor in economics and international business; Stacy Ulbig, associate professor in political science; and Kathleen Utecht, professor in management and marketing.
Other faculty members receiving tenure include Scott Chapman, professor in mathematics and statistics; Richard Henriksen, associate professor in educational leadership and counseling; Melinda Holt, associate professor in mathematics and statistics; Stephen Scariano, professor in mathematics and statistics; and Gene Theodori, associate professor in sociology.
Eight faculty members were promoted to professor. They are Ty Cashion, history; Douglas Constance, sociology; Stacey Edmondson, educational leadership and counseling; Alice Fisher, educational leadership and counseling; Julie Hall, English; Penelope Hasekoester, theatre and dance; Melissa Morphew, English; and Kandi Tayebi, English.
The changes in status are effective Sept. 1.
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