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Regents Approve Two New Doctorates, Budget For SHSU

Aug. 16, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Two new doctoral programs were among the items approved for Sam Houston State University during the quarterly meeting of the Texas State University System Board of Regents on Friday (Aug. 16) at Sul Ross State University in Alpine.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in forensic science within the College of Criminal Justice and the Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology degree within the College of Education will be the seventh and eighth doctoral degrees offered by the university.

According to the Census of Publicly Funded Crime Labs from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the nation’s forensic laboratories employ approximately 13,100 full-time personnel and received an estimated four million requests for forensic services in 2009. The August 2012 report shows that nine out of 10 requests at year’s end were classified as backlogged.

“The shortage of resources and qualified personnel to perform critical functions in support of criminal and death investigations has profound public safety and criminal justice consequences,” SHSU President Dana Gibson told the regents.

“In addition to the burgeoning demand for routine forensic examiners within the criminal justice system, there is also a pressing need for forensic science researchers and faculty,” she said. “As the emphasis on fundamental forensic science research and education grows, the Ph.D. in forensic science at SHSU will help meet the job market needs of the criminal justice system, research, and higher education.”

The Ed.D. in instructional technology is an online professional practice doctoral program designed to prepare individuals in education to direct the integration of technology into curriculum. The program will also prepare individuals in business and industry to lead in the improvement of technology integration as it relates to corporate training and continuing education programs.

“It is crucial that we embrace the ever-increasing development of technological tools and prepare educators to implement them more effectively,” Gibson said. “Courses associated with this doctoral degree will bolster the success and learning of preschool through baccalaureate students, strengthen the country’s education system, and improve the effectiveness of employees in private industry.

“Furthermore, doing so will not only increase the quality of instruction, but will also teach students the value of technology both in school and in the workplace,” she said. “It is in higher education where we can address this need.”

In other business, the design development documents prepared by The Lawrence Group of Austin for the SHSU Student Health and Counseling Center project at a cost of $10.3 million were approved.

SHSU students passed a referendum in 2012 to support the new construction through student fees. The two-story, 29,600 gross-square-foot facility will be located in the North District of campus on the old site of King Hall and will house both the physical health clinic as well as the mental health counseling center.

Level one is dedicated to the Student Health Clinic and will include 24 exam rooms, a laboratory, triage and procedure rooms, staff support space, and a walk-up pharmacy.

The counseling center program and shared administrative suite will occupy the second level. The mental health clinic will include a separate lobby, 20 private therapy offices, a group therapy space, relaxation room and other staff support space.

In other business, the regents authorized SHSU to purchase 20.69 acres of land contiguous to the university’s Gibbs Ranch. The acquisition will straighten existing property lines, and the property will be used to further advance curriculum and activities at the ranch for the benefit of the university’s agricultural sciences students.

The regents also authorized SHSU to acquire property located at 2257 Sam Houston Ave. in Huntsville, commonly known as the Army Reserve Building, through negotiation and purchase. The property has been identified as necessary in the SHSU’s Master Plan Update to provide for the expansion of the university’s ROTC program and to provide support services for student veterans, expected to number approximately 1,000 in fall 2013.

The board also approved the university’s $258 million budget for FY 2014, which includes a two percent merit pool for faculty and staff, as well as funding for 21 new faculty members.



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