President White Updates Faculty & Staff
Sept. 2, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
Sam Houston State University President Alisa White outlined last year's progress and discussed plans at the university's general faculty and staff meeting Aug. 31.
White opened with a video presentation on the new university strategic plan and emphasized the importance of the plan to guide the future work of the campus community.
The president provided updates to leadership position searches underway and talked about her priorities moving forward in onboarding new leadership, expanding marketing efforts and preparing for the legislative session to seek state funding for the College of Osteopathic Medicine (SHSU-COM).
“Our medical students are well qualified—in fact—our incoming class is in the top five in the nation—but they are paying private university tuition rates,” White said. “Our COM students had a 97.1 percent pass rate on their first boards exam, three percent higher than the national average and fourth place of the 38 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the US. The COM provides an excellent medical education, and we need the state’s support to help our future physicians.”
Recent accomplishments of faculty and staff were highlighted in the president’s talk. White also mentioned several university achievements over the past year, including SHSU being ranked No. 1 in the state for ‘Top Performer on Social Mobility’ and No. 6 in ‘Best College in Texas’ by U.S. News and World Report. SHSU also became designated a Doctoral University of High Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, received federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and was recognized as a national leader in community engagement by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Additionally, for the current Fall semester, SHSU welcomed its largest freshmen class in history, with a preliminary count indicating an approximate 15 percent increase compared to the Fall 2021 semester.
The president discussed the university’s impact on the State and regional economies, with a study that found SHSU’s annual contribution to the Texas economy is $2.4 billion.
“On average, students who earn a bachelor’s degree from Sam earn $29,100 more annually in their career midpoint than a person with only a high school diploma or equivalent working in Texas,” White said.
In athletics, White spoke about the continuing transition from Division I FCS to FBS level in Conference USA, which will occur in July 2023.
“This year will seem a little odd, because essentially, we’ll be operating between the current conference and Conference USA. Our long-term goal is for athletics to offer an experience to bring together our students, faculty, staff and alumni that will strengthen our relationships now and in the future,” White said.
In new facilities, the president mentioned the completion of San Jacinto Hall and the north parking garage, along with an update on construction plans for the Health Professions building in Conroe from capital construction funds from the legislature.
The annual meeting concluded with White honoring select faculty and staff for their years of service as well as the 2022 Faculty Excellence and Staff Excellence award recipients.
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