Highlights from the August Board of Regents meeting
August 13, 2018
What a great way to end the week—celebrating the largest single donation to Texas Woman’s from one of our successful business graduates, Mary L. A. Stanton (BBA ’89), and meeting with our dedicated regents, including our two newest, Regent Teresa Doggett and student Regent Emily Galbraith.
This morning, the regents voted to name our residential village’s east portal building the Mary L. A. Stanton Hall, or “Mary’s Hall,” for her generous $10 million gift. To encourage others to invest in our bright future, Mary also gave us $1,901 to launch the “1901 Society” that will recognize donors who have given $1 million or more to the university in their lifetimes. I encourage all of you to read the press release that details why Mary was inspired to provide students with a campus experience she was not able to enjoy herself.
We covered a lot of ground at the regents meeting and, as always, you can listen to the full proceedings. But let me give you some highlights.
Enrollment Management reported on the gains the university has made in applications, particularly in graduate applications. Most notable in the report was the huge success in a summer collaborative between all the divisions to bolster enrollment. Principal among the tactics was Student Life's offer of free summer housing for students who enrolled in at least nine hours.
The board approved a 20-year master plan framework for our Denton campus, a project led by HKS Architects. The plan organizes growth opportunities and affords us the flexibility to accommodate projected enrollment increases while also maintaining and enhancing our distinctive identity and culture. Long-term master planning for our Dallas and Houston campuses will also continue, in part through the Innovative Academic Programs initiative in the strategic plan.
Finance and Administration provided a construction update on our growing Denton campus—from continued construction/renovation of the new Student Union at Hubbard Hall, the residential village and the undergraduate lab building, to the opening of a new soccer field this month, the Jones Hall Student Health Center next month and the new administrative offices and parking garage in October. In addition, renovation of Old Main Building to house the Institute for Women’s Leadership starts next month, and construction of the new Science and Technology Learning Center is slated to begin in December.
Among other news discussed, Academic Affairs shared information about a partnership undertaken by the College of Health Sciences with the Agape Clinic to provide occupational therapy services and informational programs to underserved populations in Dallas. This partnership provides our students with opportunities to gain real-life experience while also serving the community. In addition, the regents approved our plans to provide 100 percent online master’s degree programs in early childhood education and child development in September 2019 so that we can better serve working students (though the traditional options also will continue).
Academic Affairs also shared with the regents one of the most innovative solutions Texas has seen on addressing the significant shortfalls of nurses in the state. The partnership announced late this spring between North Central Texas College and Texas Woman’s will allow nursing students to earn a BSN degree—a must for many hospitals today—from Texas Woman’s by following a strategic sequencing of coursework detailed in this innovative program. It will significantly reduce the time to degree for students, which is expected to reduce the cost by $10,000. This program also has great potential for scale, cutting out some of the bottlenecks to growing the number of nurses the state needs.
Marketing and Communications briefly discussed TWU’s growing visibility in English and Spanish media outlets across the state that is capturing the outstanding work and research of our faculty and students—with a growing number of articles and TV stories going national, such as in the Chronicle of Higher Education and NPR. In addition, we discussed plans this fall to launch our first statewide ad campaign, including billboards, radio, print, and digital media, in nearly a decade.
In seeing our many successes, made possible by the work of an outstanding team of faculty and staff, the regents graciously offered me a 7 percent raise to my base salary. As an outward sign of my commitment to, and investment in, the mission of Texas Woman’s, I declined the raise. They came back with a 3 percent raise and a $35,000 bonus. As I have done in the past, I donated the bonus back to the university.
While recruiting students is always top of mind, retaining students once they enroll also must be a high priority. Student retention is not just an ethical issue but it’s an academic—and truly economic and societal—imperative. Among those students who started here but did not register this fall because of financial hardship or some other reason, there may be the next Mary L. A. Stanton. For the benefit of the state and what these students have to offer through their unique perspectives, I believe we must continue to evolve and work together to “...empower the world.”
With Pioneer Pride,
Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Page last updated 1:58 PM, August 27, 2018