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Regents approve plans for new building

ALPINE - Preliminary plans for the construction of a new $8.5 million General Classroom Building at Sam Houston State University were approved Friday by the university's governing board.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents took the action at a regular quarterly meeting.

The Austin architectural firm of Graeber, Simmons & Cowan presented the preliminary plans and were directed to prepare detailed plans and specifications for bidding and construction contract award at a future board meeting, possibly in February 2000.

Construction on the site formerly occupied by Departmental Dorms could start in the spring of 2000 and is expected to take 18 months to two years for completion.

Plans for occupancy of its 61,070 feet of space include the Departments of History, Library Science and Psychology, the Academic Enrichment Center, a Computer Services lab, a testing center, the Honors Program, classrooms and lecture hall.

SHSU was also authorized to employ Molina Walker Architects, Inc. of Houston to design a metal building for the industrial technology program. With an estimated project cost of $600,000, the new building will replace the existing Woods Laboratory, which was built in 1945, and another building that dates to 1910-1915.

The old buildings have such defects as a cracked concrete slab and inadequate heating, cooling, ventilation and electrical capacity. The new building will be near the Agricultural Mechanization Center Building and will contain approximately 8,000 square feet.

Also in the construction area, preliminary plans for a $299,000 metal building for use in the Agricultural Mechanization Center, also prepared by the Molina Walker Architect firm, were approved.

The board also approved the purchase of $500,000 in computer workstations and components as part of the university's plan to provide a workstation with current technology to each faculty member and to equip student computer labs with current technology.

SHSU was authorized to change the name of the Department of Mathematical and Information Sciences to the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics, pending approval of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The new name is expected to give added visibility to SHSU offerings in the field of computer science, which is becoming increasingly popular. Statistics is another area which is growing. SHSU has a master's program in statistics and minor in statistics at the bachelor's level.

The name change will become effective in the 2000 spring semester if approved by the coordinating board.

Also approved were the changes in status of several faculty members: Richard F. Eglsaer, professor of psychology, becomes professor of psychology and acting chair, Department of Psychology and Philosophy, effective Sept. 1; Jaimie L. Hebert, associate professor of mathematics, was approved as associate professor of mathematics and chair, Department of Mathematical and Information Sciences, effective July 1; Everett D. Wilson, professor of biology, becomes professor of biology and acting chair, Department of Biological Sciences, effective Sept. 1; Robert E. Biles, professor of political science, becomes professor and acting chair of the Department of Political Science, effective Sept. 1; Ricky C. White, professor of chemistry, becomes professor of chemistry and chair, Department of Chemistry, effective Sept. 1.

Charles W. Bridges was approved as professor of English and chair, Department of English and Foreign Languages, and Robert L. Walzel, Jr. was approved as professor of music and chair, Department of Music. Both approvals were retroactive to July 15, and both administrators were also granted tenure.

Nine additional faculty members were granted tenure. They include Frieda C. Koeninger and Joseph M. Thomas, both assistant professors in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, Wasin So, associate professor in the Department of Mathematical and Information Sciences, and Linda G. Duvall, assistant professor in the Department of Accounting.

Also, Valerie P. Muehsam, assistant professor in the Department of Economics and International Business, Randall L. Garner, associate professor in the College of Criminal Justice, Stanley F. Kelley, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Sciences, Robin R. McGrew-Zoubi, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Sharon A. Lynch, assistant professor in the Department of Language, Literacy and Special Populations.

In another personnel action, the board passed a resolution honoring James D. Long, who retired this spring after more than 50 years as a student, alumnus and faculty member, and designated him as professor emeritus of biology.

The resolution praised Long for his work since becoming a faculty member in 1959 and department chairman from 1962-1972, in coordinating curriculum among state junior and senior colleges, and his research on Texas mosquitoes, for which he has received national recognition. The resolution praised Long for his "lasting and significant contribution to teaching in the Biological Sciences, to research in mosquito biology, and to the University, the state, and the nation."

"Throughout his forty years of continuous service with Sam Houston State University as a man of integrity, warmth, and good humor, he has proven himself to be a superb mentor to students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University and thereby has demonstrated himself to be a professional, an educator, a courteous statesman, and a compassionate human being," the resolution stated.

Also approved was the SHSU holiday schedule for 1999-2000. Staff holidays include Thanksgiving (Nov. 25-26), Christmas (Dec. 24-31), Martin Luther King birthday (Jan. 17), Spring Break (March 16-17), Memorial Day (May 29), and Independence Day (July 4).

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
August 20, 1999
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