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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Present and future of university discussed at State of Texas State speech

Star File Photo

On Friday, Texas State hosted the State of Texas State speech to highlight what the university has done in the past year and their goals for next year.

President Kelly Damphousse said that last year, the university launched a vision for Texas State’s future called “Our Hopes and Aspirations High,” which consisted of five goals to achieve last year.

“We identified five strategic imperatives: elevate student success, Run to R1, increase enrollment, grow the Round Rock campus and become an employer of choice,” Damphousse said.

Damphousse said that the university has achieved these goals by reorganizing offices and divisions, creating a new division of student success and a new division to research to get closer to R1, hiring a new Vice President for Texas State global and a new Vice President for the Round Rock campus. 

Overall, Damphousse wants these efforts to allow Texas State to move forward to become the third flagship university in the state of Texas. 

This year, Damphousse wants to improve upon these actions by implementing the 2023-2029 University Strategic Plan and making additional investments in our top priorities. The new plan will start rolling out September 1. 

Damphousse also touched on SB 17, which led all public universities to close diversity, inclusive and excellence offices, and ban diversity training and questions.

“Just a few weeks ago, I announced that we had dissolved the division on inclusive excellence in compliance with the state law that goes effect January 1,” Damphousse said. “Most universities in Texas now have followed our lead and now are announcing similar changes. While the organization has changed, our mission is the same as our commitment to being a welcoming and supportive community.”

The university is also working to fill two leadership positions as Provost Gene Bourgeois and Vice President for Information Technology Ken Pierce retired. The searches have begun and Damphousse wants to ensure that the search process is involved with as many people as possible. 

Vice President of Student Success Cynthia Hernandez discussed support for first generation students including creating a partnership with faculty teaching general education courses and starting a mandatory academic recovery program. 

“We are partnering with faculty teaching general education courses to proactively identify students in the first five weeks who are trending towards academic trouble,” Hernandez said. “For students who do land on probation, we are piloting a mandatory academic recovery program to help these students return to good academic standing.”

The university also has launched the TimelyCare platform, which is a third-party platform that allows all currently enrolled Texas State students to have all hours access to counseling services at any location. 

According to Damphousse, the creation of the Texas University Fund can provide funding for Texas universities including Texas State which can allow the university to become closer to achieving R1 status. 

“Becoming an R1 institution will equip us to give our students more opportunities to engage in research, give our faculty more resources and those are all great learning experiences for our students and for our faculty as well as they are creating new knowledge,” Damphousse said. 

According to Shreek Mandayam, vice president of research, there has been $140 million invested in research expenditures this year. $12 million has been invested into recruiting 100 Ph.D students into current programs, $6 million has been invested in recruiting over 30 postdocs across the university. 

“What we hope is we’ll be graduating about 75 to 100 Ph.D students, having more than 100 postdocs and research expenditures,” Mandayam said.

Damphousse said that Texas State has become the most applied to university by freshmen and while freshmen enrollment has grown, the overall enrollment has stayed balanced which Damphousse hopes to increase. 

According to Eric Algoe, vice president of operations, Texas State will be implementing a $30,000 minimum wage for all full-time university employees which will allow raises for up to 25% of all full-time employees.

To watch the full speech. visit the State of TXST website.

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