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Regents Approve New Online Degrees, Austin Hall Renovation

Aug. 19, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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ALPINE—Two new online degrees, the purchase of property near campus and increases in tuition and fees were among the items approved by Sam Houston State University’s governing body on Friday (Aug. 19).

The Texas State University System Board of Regents took the action during their quarterly meeting at Sul Ross State University in Alpine.

The regents approved offering the Master of Science in criminal justice and the Master of Science in victim services management degrees online.

“The online programs will accommodate the educational needs of working professionals in the field,” Gibson said. “Both those in criminal justice and victim services throughout Texas find it difficult to attend on-campus classes due to complex working hours and schedules.

“The online format will provide these students with the flexible access they need to pursue graduate level, professional education in their fields,” she said. “Both programs are housed in the College of Criminal Justice, which has had excellent success with other online programs.”

Regarding construction, the regents approved the design development documents prepared by Ford, Power & Carson Architects & Planners, Inc., of San Antonio, for the restoration of Austin Hall, the oldest building on campus, with a budget of $2.2 million. The project will totally funded by the Higher Education Assistance Fund, a capital funding source provided by the state constitution.

The university also received permission from the regents to purchase 2.75 acres located at 2208 Ave. I in Huntsville.

“This property will be used for future campus expansion and parking according to the master plan,” Gibson told the regents. “The property’s location is between the edge of the west campus and Sam South where University Police and Facilities Maintenance offices are located, as well as being adjacent to the Raven Village residence hall. If it is not acquired, the university could potentially be blocked from growth of the campus to the west and become landlocked.”

During the regents’ business meeting, Sam Houston State University was authorized to charge a multi-institution teaching center fee up to $50 per semester hour for students enrolled in courses at a teaching center at which SHSU is a member.

“The university needs such a fee to recover costs associated with debt payment, rental, faculty travel, and miscellaneous expenses,” SHSU President Dana Gibson told the regents.

“There is a growing trend in Texas to create multi-institution teaching centers, such as the one at The University Center in The Woodlands and the new Lone Star teaching center in northwest Houston, to increase access to high education for Texas citizens. This fee gives SHSU the flexibility to effectively meet demands as they arise,” she said.

SHSU was also authorized to increase the advising fee from $50 per semester to $56 per semester and the computer use fee from $19 per semester to $29 per semester, both effective in Spring 2012. In addition, the name of the computer use fee will change to technology fee to more accurately reflect the actual use of the fee.

In other business, the regents authorized SHSU to increase designated tuition by $16 per semester credit hour from $121 to $137, effective Spring 2012.

“This increase will assist in recovering the decrease in general revenue from the prior legislative session, as well as help cover Texas Public Education Grant expenses,” Gibson told the regents.

Also at the meeting, the regents approved Sam Houston State University’s holiday schedule for 2011-12. Holidays include: Labor Day (Sept. 5); Thanksgiving (Nov. 24-25); Christmas (Dec. 26-30); New Year’s (Jan. 2); Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Jan. 16); Spring Recess (March 16); Memorial Day (May 28); and Independence Day (July 4).

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