Board of Regents Meeting Update
Dear Faculty and Staff:
Tarleton State University is an institution that is rich in history, academic excellence, leadership and service. This year, we will continue our efforts to make our university’s educational and research programs ever stronger and more meaningful. The heart of Tarleton’s success resides in all of you—our dedicated faculty, outstanding staff and our inspiring student body.
In an effort to keep you up to date on actions taken by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents pertaining to Tarleton, here’s a recap of the board’s meeting held Feb. 9 in Corpus Christi.
I am happy to report Tarleton’s second doctoral degree program moved one step closer to reality when the board of regents approved the establishment of a joint Doctor of Philosophy degree program in Rangeland Ecology and Management with Texas A&M University (TAMU), contingent upon approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. This new Ph.D. degree program has received approval from the presidents of both institutions as well as preliminary planning authority from the coordinating board.
The partnership for this proposed Ph.D. will take advantage of the existing degree and program strengths already in place at TAMU. By extending the doctorate in rangeland ecology and management to students at Tarleton, this program will help us to meet a growing need for leaders in the rangeland and ecology arena. We expect to implement Tarleton’s second Ph.D. program in fall 2012, or as soon as it receives final approval from the higher education coordinating board.
The regents also gave unanimous approval for Tarleton’s preliminary proposal to establish two additional master of science in nursing degrees, including a degree with a major in nursing administration and a degree major in nursing education. The board’s actions allow our university to proceed and submit Tarleton’s full proposal for consideration by the coordinating board for approval. We hope to implement the degree programs beginning in fall 2012.
Graduates of the nursing administration program will be prepared to assume leadership roles for specific units, departments or at the system level of health care organizations, gaining knowledge and skills to serve as nurse managers and executives. Students who opt for the nursing education major will be prepared to teach patients and their families, nursing students, nursing staff and health care consumers.
In other business, the regents unanimously approved Tarleton’s request to offer a new master’s of music degree program with a major in music education. Its passage now allows our university to submit a full proposal to the coordinating board for its approval.
The master’s in music education degree, which has a proposed implementation of fall 2012, will enhance Tarleton’s regional reputation for leadership in music education. The master’s level of this degree will serve as a vehicle to further enhance students’ knowledge and execution as an educator, enhance the Department of Fine Arts’ reputation for student achievement, and compliments other programs on campus that work in tandem with Tarleton’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
As you know, we recently announced plans to utilize a special allocation of $25 million in PermanentUniversity Funds to fund several construction and renovation projects, including a refurbishment of the O.A. Grant Building and Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center. The regents support our capital improvements and approved amendments to the planning amounts to reflect increases in allocations for two of the projects, as well as changes to the project start dates.
With a start date in FY 2012, the O.A. Grant Building will receive a much-needed refurbishment and will undergo an expansion that will bring the entire building to three floors. Total building size will increase by 26,234 square feet. Originally, $5.5 million was allocated for the project. Regents amended the amount to $12 million for the project, which will provide new space for students as well as space for faculty and administrative offices.
The Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center will receive $8 million for a new roof, seating, flooring, paint, wall coverings and HVAC controls. A total of$3.5 million was originally allocated, but saw an increase for the project following the regents’ approval at the latest meeting. Attention will also be given to handicap access and fireproofing as well as enhancements to teaching and restroom spaces. Regents also amended the project start date to FY 2012.
As part of our efforts to recognize outstanding supporters of our university, the regents supported our proposal to award honorary doctorates of humane letters degrees to Mr. Joe R. Long and Dr. Teresa Lozano Long. Their nomination received the unanimous support of the Honorary Degree Selection Committee at Tarleton, and we look forward to honoring Mr. and Mrs. Long during our May commencement ceremony.
In other business, the regents authorized the transfer of the Dora Lee Langdon Cultural and Educational Center to the city of Granbury. Tarleton received a gift of property in 1996 to establish the Langdon Center, however, it is no longer economical for the university to continue its operations. Following months of negotiations, the City of Granbury has agreed to accept the property and continue using the facilities for public cultural and educational activities. We are looking forward to building on the university’s beneficial relationship with Granbury and the citizens of Hood and surrounding counties as Tarleton student and faculty programming continues and new initiatives are implemented by the City at the Langdon Center.
Also, the board extended its confirmation of appointment and commissioning of our university’s newest peace officers, Brock Johnson and Kelly Marsh, who were hired by the University Police Department in November 2011.
It’s an exciting time to be a part of Tarleton! Your service is truly appreciated.
F. Dominic Dottavio, Ph.D.