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Regents Approve New Degrees;
Name Distinguished Professor

Charles Friel
Charles Friel

The first approval step toward three new degrees, including Sam Houston State University's fourth doctorate, was taken Friday during a regular quarterly meeting of the university's governing board in Alpine.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved proposals to add a bachelor of science degree in forensic chemistry, a master of music degree in music education and a doctor of philosophy degree in counseling. Each must also be approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The regents also authorized the university to offer criminal justice courses in the Dominican Republic in December, the expenditure of more than $800,000 for fire detection and heating and ventilation work on four buildings, the designation of Charles M. Friel as distinguished professor of criminal justice, and approved the 2001-2002 academic year holiday schedule.

If approved by the coordinating board, the doctorate would be offered beginning in the summer of 2002, and the bachelor's and master's degrees that fall.

The doctorate would be administered by the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling in the College of Education and Applied Science. Administrators expect great interest in the degree because of the demand for counselor educators throughout the nation and because the SHSU program would be the only one offered within driving distance of the Houston area.

The master of music degree would be administered by the School of Music. It is expected that such a degree would be popular with secondary school teachers of instrumental and choral music and elementary music teachers, and would allow them to complete coursework while maintaining full time employment in their teaching positions. Students could also enroll on a full time basis.

The bachelor of science in forensic chemistry would be administered by the Department of Chemistry. There are no other bachelor's programs in forensic chemistry in Texas, and SHSU has the only master's program in that area. The bachelor's would be complementary in that it would allow students interested in that field to receive undergraduate and graduate training at the same university.

A contract was awarded to REC Industries, Inc. of Bryan for heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements to the Lee Drain Building, the Teacher Education Center and Gresham Library. Another contract was awarded to the FireMaster fire protection company of Houston for a fire alarm/smoke detection system for the Fine Arts Building.

The board motion designating Friel as a distinguished professor praised him as a "superb scholar and dedicated and effective teacher," and "one of the three or four most visionary scholars who have understood and articulated future needs in criminal justice long before these needs and have been understood and embraced by the mainstream."

"A universally respected true expert on criminal justice," the motion reads, "he has in that capacity represented U. S. interests and perspective in any number of international meetings and conferences. He has also served as senior advisor to foreign governments and agencies on a variety of criminal justice matters."

Among Friel's many awards are SHSU's1997 Excellence in Service Award, the 1997 Service Award from the Supreme Court of Texas, and the 1998 Ron Beattie Award from the Association for Correctional Research and Management.

Friel has taught at Sam Houston State University since 1967 and from 1986-'91 served as director of the Criminal Justice Center and dean of the College of Criminal Justice. He becomes the university's third active distinguished professor, joining James Olson (history) and Rolando del Carmen (criminal justice).

The 2001-2002 non-academic holiday schedule includes Thanksgiving (Nov. 22-23), Christmas (Dec. 24-31), New Year's Day (Jan. 1), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21), Spring Recess (March 15), Memorial Day (May 27) and Independence Day (July 4).

Employees also have the option of observing Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 18-19), Yom Kippur (Sept. 27) or Good Friday (March 29) in lieu of other holidays.

The board of regents meeting was the first attended by James F. Gaertner as president of Sam Houston State University since he began his duties Aug. 21.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Aug. 31, 2001
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