ALPINE - There will be more computer work stations and fewer dorm rooms on the Sam Houston State campus as the result of actions taken Friday by the university's board of regents.

The Texas State University System board of regents voted in its quarterly meeting to award a $384,600 contract to Prime Contractors, Inc. of Houston for modifications to the computer lab in Academic Building I, and to allow the university to demolish the Malone Apartment Complex and the Agriculture Mechanics Farm Shop.

Bobby K. Marks, Sam Houston president, said that the computer lab is one of 10 on the SHSU campus. In addition to increasing its work stations from 60 to 94, plans call for a separate heating and air conditioning system and back-up generator for the campus computer network.

The separate environmental system is an energy conservation feature which will allow utility savings during non-class hours.

Marks said that the Malone Apartment Complex, located on 22nd Street southwest of the main part of the campus, was built in 1958. The complex has exceeded its useful life and the cost to rehabilitate it would exceed reasonable income expectations, he said. The Agriculture Mechanics Farm shop's roof has collapsed and cannot be repaired. That shop is being replaced with a new metal building.

The regents also approved the SHSU staff holiday schedule for the 1997-'98 academic year. Holidays include Thanksgiving (Nov. 27, 28), Christmas (Dec. 23-Jan. 2), Martin Luther King's Birthday (Jan. 19), Spring Break for Staff (March 19, 20) and Memorial Day (May 25).

Marks also reported to the regents on several matters which did not require action on their part.

He said that SHSU has decided not to implement a separate tuition and fee schedule this fall for students attending the University Center in The Woodlands. The University Center is a consortium of area universities that offers degrees without campus residency requirements.

The regents gave SHSU permission at its last meeting to set a tuition of up to $50 per semester credit hour, and reduce general use, student services and recreational sports and activities fees since University Center students are not be as likely to use those services.

"We need at least a year of experience," said Marks. "There are some services that will be required, such as for disabled students, career counseling and for legal aid, and we simply have no idea of what fee will be appropriate."

Marks also reported to the board that it may become necessary for SHSU to increase general use fees, probably for the 1998 fall semester. A survey of other Texas institutions shows that SHSU is second from the bottom in its general use fee at $13 per semester credit hour, ahead of only Texas Southern University, which charges $12.

The fee charged by other schools is $34 at Texas A&M, $30 at the University of Houston, $22 at Southwest Texas State University, and $20 at both Lamar and Stephen F. Austin State Universities.

Without an increase to about $17, Marks said, Sam Houston State University could fall behind in the ability to attract quality faculty members and for operational needs affecting educational facilities and programs.

Marks reported that enrollment for the 1997 summer semesters was essentially stable, with a total of 108 students more attending this summer than last. He also reported that the Estill Classroom Building renovation project is behind schedule and will not be open in time for the beginning of the 1997 fall semester.

That project, which has delayed moves of the Registrar's Office and Cashier's Office from the Administration Building to Estill, has subsequently caused a delay in beginning the Administration Building renovation.

Marks also said that the university's first Mexican Field School in 20 years was extremely successful this summer, and that consideration is being given to the possibility of holding two sessions next summer.

He reported that the Texas Review Press, under the direction of Paul Ruffin, professor of English, has been invited to join the Texas A&M University Press Consortium, which will add to its international prestige and exposure. Other members of the consortium include SMU, TCU, the University of North Texas, and the Texas State Historical Association.


Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak

Aug. 8, 1997