Administrators are considering changing the university’s name for the sixth time in its 114-year history to clear up confusion about Texas State’s San Marcos and Round Rock campuses.
The administration has asked the Texas Legislature to change the institution’s official name from Texas State University-San Marcos to Texas State University. Provostsaid existing confusion with the university’s name stems from the fact some people may think the Round Rock Higher Education Center is a second branch of Texas State.
Bourgeois said the administration wants the legislature to make it clear Texas State is one university with two campuses. He said dropping “-San Marcos” from the university’s name isn’t an effort to avoid Texas State being seen as a regional school.
“The name change doesn’t have to do with anything like that,” Bourgeois said. “This is simply to eliminate confusion.”
The legislature will have to amend the Texas Education Code to eliminate “-San Marcos” from the university’s name. The code is a set of state statutes governing public education in Texas. Robert Gratz, special assistant to the university president, said the Board of Regents decided during its November meeting to permit the university to work with the legislature to amend the code.
Gratz said introducing a bill to the legislature would be the next step, and if approved the school’s name will be changed.
Gratz said the school’s official name, “Texas State University-San Marcos,” is used on legal documents, but in most publications the institution is already referred to as Texas State University.
The institution has beared six different names since opening its doors in 1899 as Southwest Texas State Normal School. The most recent change occurred in 2003 when the school’s name was changed from Southwest Texas State University to Texas State University-San Marcos.
At the time, “-San Marcos” had been included in the name because there were hopes other schools in the Texas State University System could adopt similar titles, Gratz said. It become clear the university system’s other institutions did not have an interest in in changing their names, Gratz said.
Dropping “-San Marcos” from the name may come at a cost. Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said it cost the university $235,000 to update signage and other property when the 2003 name change occurred. He said the costs for the proposed name change will be minimal in comparison to the previous one.
“(We) don’t intend to run out and change the signs as soon as the bill goes into effect,” Nance said. “As some of them fade, we’ll change them. We’re not going to issue a bunch of contracts. I think it could take years for all of the signs to be changed out.”
Gratz additionally said he does not see many costs associated with changing Texas State’s name again. Bourgeois said changing the institution’s name again is mostly an issue of recognition and clarification because to him, “We’re Texas State University.”