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Regents Approve New Admission Standards For SHSU

May 25, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Sam Houston State University was authorized to increase admission standards for freshmen entering in the fall 2013 semester during a meeting Friday of the university’s governing body.

The increase was among a number of items the Texas State University System Board of Regents approved for SHSU at its regular quarterly meeting at Lamar University, one of the eight system component institutions.

SHSU requested the increase in admission standards as a means to produce a higher rate of retention and graduation than the one the university currently has. Retention and graduation rates are often used in measuring an institution’s success.

The new admission standards for students graduating on the recommended or distinguished graduation plan, or the equivalent, from a high school that provides class rank are:

• Automatic acceptance for the top 25 percent
• 2nd quartile – ACT-20 Composite, SAT-960
• 3rd quartile – ACT-23 Composite, SAT-1060
• 4th quartile – Review only

In other action, the regents approved the addition of five new degree programs, all to be implemented after final approval by the regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and the elimination of five programs.

The additions include:

• Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in entrepreneurship;
• Bachelor of Science with a major in biomedical science;
• Graduate certificate in criminal justice leadership and management;
• Graduate certificate in advanced exercise testing and prescription;
• Graduate certificate in library science: children’s and adult literature.

The additions reflect growing demands for trained professionals in those fields across the state and heightened student interest among those attending SHSU.

The deletions include:

• Master of Science degree with a major in finance, effective Dec. 31, 2012;
• Master of Arts degree with a major in counselor education, effective Aug. 31, 2012;
• Master of Education degree with a major in health, effective Aug. 31, 2012;
• Master of Education degree with a major in kinesiology, effective Aug. 31, 2012;
• Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in photography, through a phase out to end by Aug. 31, 2015.

No students are enrolled in three of the five programs, and no courses have been offered for some of the degrees for several years.

In other academic-related action, the regents approved the division of the current Department of Theatre and Dance into the Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre and the Department of Dance within the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication, effective Aug. 31.

The regents also authorized SHSU to increase mandatory tuition and fee rates, effective in the spring 2013 semester. The increases will be in designated tuition and recreational sports, student ID card, student service, intercollegiate athletic, and advisement fees.

Additional increases in mandatory tuition and fees will take place in the fall 2014 semester in designated tuition and intercollegiate athletic, advisement, and technology fees. These two increases span a three-year period resulting in an annualized increase of approximately 2.6 percent, or $160 for spring 2013 and $169 for fall 2014 for a full-time course load.

The regents also authorized SHSU to modify tuition and fee rates effective in the spring 2013 semester and fall 2014 semester contingent upon the results of a student referendum to be held during the fall 2012 semester. The fees affected are the medical service and student center fees.

If the student referendum passes, the increase in the medical service fee will be used to expand the Student Health Center. The student center fee increase will fund portions of a plan that includes demolishing Smith-Kirkley Residence Hall and expanding the Lowman Student Center.

SHSU President Dana Gibson told the regents the increases were needed to maintain the standards of education and service to students that are mandated through the university’s mission, with the reduction in general revenue from the state. Between the fall 2009 and fall 2012 semesters, the university’s funding from the state decreased by more than $10 million.

“In addition to the decrease in funding, the cost to SHSU in proportional benefits has increased by approximately $3.5 million over the past three years and is still climbing,” Gibson told the regents.

“Given the decrease in general revenue from the state, with the already low per-student funding, and the conservative tuition and fee level, it is imperative to have these increases to educate our students,” she said.

“SHSU operates at 11.4 employees per 100 students while the state average is 19.3,”
Gibson said. “We have 6.8 staff per 100 students while the state average is 14.6 and 4.6 faculty per 100 students, with the state average at 4.7. Even with the requested tuition increases, SHSU remains the second lowest-cost, four-year public university in its competitor group.

“SHSU is working diligently to use our resources wisely,” Gibson told the regents. “In March, we implemented an Organization and Efficiency Task Force to seek out suggestions for cost savings and streamlining of operations to continue the university’s pursuit of efficiencies.”

University officials conducted public hearings on campus in March to answer questions and address concerns about the increases.

In other business, the regents approved the Sam Houston University Foundation, Inc., bylaws and operating agreement between SHSU and the foundation.

The foundation has operated under the name “Sam Houston Foundation” as a separately incorporated, independent entity since April 1967. It is reorganizing as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation to assist SHSU in raising private funds. Earlier this year, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board granted approval to the foundation to use the word “University” in its name, and the Secretary of State certified the foundation as a non-profit corporation.

“The foundation’s reorganization and name change is designed to describe its educational support mission and to distinguish it from other Sam Houston foundations that have existed and may be created in the future,” Gibson said.

“The foundation’s trustees want to ensure that the public is clear that it is separate from the university. The foundation’s bylaws specifically state that it exists for the benefit of Sam Houston State University,” Gibson said.

The operating agreement between the university and the foundation allows the foundation to secure and manage private resources in support of SHSU’s mission and priorities. It also includes provisions for mutual support and exchange of services between the university and foundation.

In other business, the regents authorized SHSU to take legal and other appropriate action regarding construction issues with Sam Houston Village. The seven-year-old residence hall is currently undergoing renovation and remediation activities to correct functional issues that have been occurring over the past several years. The university has paid for the cost of repairing the structure. The action by the regents will allow the system chancellor and SHSU officials to seek recovery of the university’s losses.

 

 

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