New degrees, new standards for transfer students, a new building to house a portion of the forensic science program, a new intercollegiate sport and a holiday schedule were all approved Friday for Sam Houston State University.
The Texas State University System Board of Regents took the actions during a regular quarterly meeting in San Marcos.
The two new degrees, both subject to approval of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, are a Master of Science Degree in Applied Geographic Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Studies.
The proposed master's degree is for individuals who want to work in the geospatial technology career field, especially as it pertains to geographic information systems (GIS). Activities utilizing this technology include criminal investigation, business development, emergency services, urban planning, military applications and environmental analyses.
The communication degree would meet a growing need for speech communication graduates with degrees that provide additional emphases on scientific, business, and technological aspects of the field. SHSU already has a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication, which will be renamed Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, and other area universities also offer both.
The new transfer student admissions standards will become effective in the Spring 2009 semester, and will require higher grade point averages for transfer students. Those with less than 12 hours will be required to meet the same requirements as beginning freshmen and those with 12-17 hours must have at least a 2.5 grade point average.
The changes are expected to increase the retention rates for transfer students.
The forensic science facility will be a garage-like structure costing about $115,000, with a small pond, and will be used for the study of body decomposition in the unique climate of East Texas.
The regents also approved adding women's bowling as an intercollegiate sport in the Department of Athletics.
The university's employee holiday schedule for 2008-09 was also approved. Holidays include Labor Day (Sept. 1), Thanksgiving (Nov. 27-28), Winter Holiday (Dec. 23-Jan. 2), Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday (Jan. 19), Spring Holiday (March 13) and Memorial Day (May 25).
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Brian Domitrovic, assistant professor of history, appeared on Book TV (C-SPAN) May 1-2, speaking about his recent book "Econoclasts: The Rebels Sparked the Supply Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity" (www.econoclasts.net).
Houston Chronicle education writer Jeannie Kever recently turned to Regents Professor of English Paul Ruffin for his views on university presses moving toward "digital books" as opposed to traditional ink-on-paper."We're fulfilling the ancient role of the university press, and that is to produce books," said Paul Ruffin, the Texas poet laureate for 2009 and director of the Texas Review Press at Sam Houston State University. "I don't want to give up the book because it is an art."
Monday, May 3
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"The measure of a Life is its Service."