Provostlooks back on Texas State’s accomplishments in 2012 and shares some expectations he has for the legislative session, campus construction and the university’s status in the upcoming year.
NB: What was the challenge the university has faced this year?
EB: The biggest challenge, probably, was accommodating the record number of students this semester in the face of the budget reductions we’ve encountered in the past three years.
NB: What set Texas State apart from other universities this year?
EB: Well, we’re on a roll. We are the hot thing in the state of Texas right now in terms of our status now as an Emerging Research University. I think another thing that is making us more and more attractive is the fact that we continue to bring new buildings online and to improve the overall look of our campus. I would add the opening of the new S.T.A.R. One, our Science, Technology and Advanced Research building that is part of our research park just south of campus. That also has brought us a number of hits in terms of newsworthiness around the state of Texas.
NB: What do you look forward to in the coming year?
EB: Well, for one, we’re hoping that in this next legislative session that higher education is treated a bit better than it has been more recently. We hope we see some funding restored for higher education. I would hope that students, as well as I know our administration, would look forward to no further reductions in financial aid programs such as the TEXAS Grant. We also very much hope the legislature approves debt financing for two new buildings that we are seeking, one being a new engineering and science building here in San Marcos, and the other one being what we’re calling our first health professions building in Round Rock.
NB: What events and changes can students look forward to next semester?
EB: Well, some of the construction will be more close to completion, which means some of the roads, byways and pedestrian ways around campus should be open and free from the obstacles that students, faculty and staff are experiencing. Again, I think continuing to sort of celebrate the fact that students at Texas State are attending one of the prominent public institutions in the state of Texas. They need to enjoy that status as an Emerging Research University and get engaged in research activities whether they are undergraduate students or graduate students.