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Marks Gives Faculty/Staff
Report on Year's Achievements

While each new school year on a college camp us offers a new beginning, it also offers the opportunity to reflect on achievements, to honor those who have served long and well, and to re-commit to goals.

While the Sam Houston State University direction has not changed greatly in the past year, the university's regents recently approved a new mission and goals, and President Bobby K. Marks provided reflection on recent achievements while handing out honors at faculty and staff gatherings.

President Marks (right) and vice presidents David Payne (left) and Jack Parker present 35-year service awards to, from left, Robert Dunning, Vertis Simmons and Ann Westmoreland.

The newly adopted mission statement says:
"Sam Houston State University is a multicultural institution whose mission is to provide excellence by continually improving quality education, scholarship, and service to its students and to appropriate regional, state, national, and international constituencies."

Nine newly approved university goals are to:

  • Promote students' intellectual, social, and leadership growth;
  • Recruit and retain qualified, dedicated faculty and support staff;
  • Recruit and retain qualified, motivated students;
  • Provide the necessary library and other facilities to support quality instruction, research, and public service;
  • Provide an educational environment that encourages systematic inquiry and research;
  • Promote and support diversity and provide for equitable opportunities for minorities;
  • Offer a wide range of academic studies in pre-professional, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral programs;
  • Collaborate with other universities, institutions, and constituencies, and;
  • Provide instructional research and public service through distance learning and technology.

President Marks (right) and vice president Thelma Douglass (left), present 25-year service awards to Dennis Culak, left, and Bobbie Hilliard.

Marks told faculty and staff that achievements have been especially significant in the areas of technology, student retention, fund-raising and international activities.

Technology achievements include:

  • The receipt of a $800,000 Texas infrastructure Grant which will allow a $1.2 million project to provide fiber optic computer connections to student housing to be completed in summer, 2000;
  • Completion of fiber optic links to all office and classroom buildings on campus, with the exception of the Art Complex and Farrington, which will soon be completed;
  • Completion and use of two distance instruction classrooms and many multimedia classrooms on campus;
  • Addition of a second T1 line to improve campus Internet access;
  • Completion of Y2K preparations for administrative activities;
  • Fabrication of 200 new computer workstations, the upgrading of 75 workstations for faculty and departments and addition of 84 computer units in student labs;
  • On-line processing by the Cashier's Office of all receipts, including formal registration;
  • Computer training by the Center for Innovative Learning for 450 faculty and staff and by offering by the Computer Center in cooperation with Academic Affairs of 100 computer skill training seminars each semester;
  • Acquisition by Newton Gresham Library of four new electronic databases providing indexing and abstracting access to 5,000 periodical titles and full text access to 2,000 periodical titles, doubling the number previously available;
  • Library acquisition of Moody's company direct database, providing electronic access to data from more than 10,000 publicly-held companies;
  • Availability of the full text for approximately 80 percent of all ERIC database documents since 1996;
  • Utilization by most academic departments and the Correspondence Division of courses which are partially or totally Internet based;
  • Offering of five Internet courses as part of the Southern Regional Electronic Campus, a consortium of which SHSU is a member;
  • Use of synchronous distance video in classes and training conferences.

President Marks (right), presents 25-year service awards to faculty members, from left, Herbert Schumann, Rolando V. del Carmen, Joan Schmidt, William Green and William Jowell.

Student retention efforts include:

  • Opening of a new Academic Enrichment Center in January 1999, merging the Learning Assistance Center and the Writing Center;
  • Adoption of a one-page, user-friendly information sheet for students and visitors;
  • Review of 50 forms to make them more user-friendly;
  • Relocation of the Office of Graduate Studies to a more accessible area;
  • Use of student retention consultants, with implementation of a number of ideas including use of two research instruments;
  • Initiation of a pilot project involving one-half of entering freshmen to provide student success skills.

President Marks (right) presents 1999 Staff Excellence Award plaques to, from left, Angie Moore, Bob Garrett and Suzette Lampson.

Fund-raising efforts include:

  • Increases in the Smith-Hutson scholarships in the College of Business Administration to $250,000 for the academic year, providing 44 scholarships of up to $7,500 annually;
  • Giving to the university is increasing steadily (final figures for 1998-1999 released by the Office of Institutional Advancement show total giving up 21.6 percent, total donors up 13 percent, and total gifts up 6.3 percent);
  • Completion of conversion of advancement records to the Raiser's Edge software program, which will allow for development of a university-wide annual giving program, development of a formal management and tracking process for cultivation of prospective donors, and development of a formal university-wide stewardship program for donors;
  • Steady improvement in grantsmanship, with the College of Education and Applied Science recently receiving three grants from the U. S. Department of Education totaling $3 million for the training of bilingual specialists over the next 3-5 years;
  • Pending funding proposals of faculty of more than $17 million.

International activities include:
  • Completion of an agreement with d'Auvergne University in France, allowing for the exchange of up to five students per year;
  • Hosting a visiting scholar from Japan who spent a year helping enhance the Intensive English Program and assisting with international student recruitment;
  • Extension of study abroad options to 75 locations, including programs in Puebla, Mexico, and Florence, Italy;
  • Ranking of the debate team in the top 20 nationally, with an invitation to participate in the 20th Annual World Debate Championship to be held in Australia in January;
  • Computer team competition in the computer programming world finals in The Netherlands by defeating teams from numerous prestigious universities throughout the Southwest.

In addition to giving faculty and staff reports on university achievements, Marks presented 35 and 25 year service awards and plaques to staff excellence award winners. Faculty excellence award winners were recognized during spring commencement.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
September 6, 1999
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