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Regents Approve Official Department Status For Nursing

Feb. 17, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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SAN MARCOS — Sam Houston State University’s governing body has given the university the go-ahead to make the university’s nursing program an official academic department effective for the Fall 2012 semester.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents took the action at their quarterly meeting in San Marcos Friday (Feb. 17).

The nursing program has been functioning as an independent unit under the College of Sciences. Since its establishment in January 2011, the program has enrolled two cohorts and is expecting a third cohort in Fall 2012.

“To meet accreditation requirements, it is necessary to elevate the nursing unit to department status,” said SHSU President Dana Gibson.

In other academic business, the regents voted to authorize SHSU to offer the Bachelor of General Studies program via distance learning.

The board also authorized Sam Houston State to add two new projects to the university’s capital improvements program, including the construction of a new CMIT/LEMIT/TDCJ facility and the expansion of the Lowman Student Center. Both projects are already in the SHSU master plan, but programming dates were moved up because the need for these facilities is earlier than what was indicated in the master plan.

Two projects that are in the design/construction phase are the first phase of the relocation of the agriculture complex to Gibbs Ranch and the second phase work for University Camp, formerly knows as Bearkat Camp. Design work for overnight accommodations, multipurpose buildings and a swimming pool at University Camp is in progress.

Two additional projects that are near completion are the University Center at The Woodlands and the restoration of Austin Hall. Both are scheduled to be completed in May 2012.

University officials also requested a change in room and board rates to meet the demands of the university’s growth.

“With regard to the change in board rates, Sam Houston State University’s growth in the past and the projected growth in the future requires a robust food service program to meet the demands of the campus community,” Gibson said. “The proposed increase is a reflection on our students’ requirements and the need for an enhanced program to accommodate their increasing expectations.”

Gibson told the regents that the increase was based on the impact of cost of living increases, the impact of boarder reduction due to dormitory closure, extremely high cost of goods inflation, increase in labor, other operating inflation costs, and the contractor cost to meet student demand.

The university offers seven meal plans and depending on the plan selected the rates could increase by 7.25 percent or decrease by 4.44 percent.

Room rates for residence halls will increase by 5 percent, with rates for Bearkat Village Apartments increasing by 3 percent.

Gibson told the board that a review of housing costs showed that there were increases in operational costs and an increase in projected renovations and repairs.

The next meeting of the regents will be May 24-25 at Lamar University in Beaumont.





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