Highlights from the May 2019 board meeting

May 20, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

This month’s meeting with the Texas Woman's Board of Regents began with an introductory welcome of the governor’s new appointees to the board. Regent Wu also hosted a special dinner at her home for members of the board and cabinet, which topped off with a custom “plaid-mascot” cake.

As always, I offer the following summary of some of the highlights of the meeting, which can be listened to in its entirety on the TWU Regents’ website.

Members of Board

While the speaker of the Faculty Senate has been on the agenda to address the regents for several years, we have since opened up the opportunity for the regents to meet and hear from the president of the Staff Council as well as the Student Government Association. At this meeting, our outgoing student regent also addressed the board. Each had a distinctive message—the Faculty Senate debated workload policy; the Staff Council discussed the importance of our three campuses; the SGA updated its constitution and underscored its work to ensure students are represented on committees across the university; and our student regent led a campaign to raise students’ awareness about the value of their voice on the board.

The regents welcomed our new interim provost, Carolyn Kapinus, for her first board meeting. She talked about the progress of the Innovative Academic Programs initiative, building on what the Strategic Plan Design Team shared with you via Inside TWU. She also presented a request for three new degrees and modification of an existing degree, all of which were approved by the board to move forward with next steps:

  • A new entry-level occupational therapy doctorate
  • A new master of public health degree
  • A new master of music therapy degree
  • Distance delivery of the existing PhD in health studies

She emphasized that while adding new degrees, the division would also look at all its degree offerings to ensure we are operating efficiently. Regent Shepard applauded the School of Occupational Therapy for developing a lean less-than-90-hour OTD curriculum that will save students money. If plans proceed on schedule, new students should be able to take these programs by Fall 2020.

We also passed a milestone in March submitting our five-year report to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The focus of our report centered on the Quality Enhancement Plan that institutionalized experiential learning as core pedagogy of the Texas Woman’s ethos.

One of the practices of our experiential learning framework tells us to look back and celebrate accomplishments. As part of celebrating faculty accomplishments, the regents approved the recommendation that 43 faculty members be granted promotion and/or tenure. In her presentation, the provost highlighted the scholarship, research, and service contributions of one faculty member from each college. The regents expressed their gratitude for the faculty and their contributions to our distinctive mission. They seemed particularly intrigued with faculty research. Dr. Asha Vas in the School of Occupational Therapy on the Dallas campus shared about her research agenda to connect cognitive neuroscience with occupational therapy.

In the midst of one of the busiest construction periods in decades, we are seeing the end in sight on all the projects we have undertaken for the last couple of years. All of them, except the science research building, are slated for completion by year’s end. And while the end is in sight for these, the regents approved a $4.5 million infrastructure project that will bring utilities, roads, and parking to the eastern part of the Denton campus. This project takes the next step in realizing the vision of the masterplan presented last August. Of particular note, the project will add about 540 new parking spaces to the 3,600 spaces on the Denton campus. The board also approved $12 million for a new dental hygiene clinic. If the state approves our request for a new health sciences center, the new clinic will become part of the programming for the new center. We also plan to replace most interior lighting across the university with low-energy LED lighting.

Master plan slide

Our Fall 2019 application rates—first-time in college, transfer, and graduate—are the highest we have seen in more than five years. These trends align with a strong uptick in our orientation rosters and housing numbers, which we attribute to a shift in our more personalized student recruiting approach that includes compelling stories of our students and alumni and expanded digital marketing techniques.

The meeting ended with some words of wisdom from former regent George Schrader, who concluded two terms of service on Thursday with the swearing in of the new regents. At 88 years old, the former city manager of Dallas implored the board to not shirk away from some ‘dream stretching,’ or as we have been known to say lately, to BOLDLY GO!

With Pioneer Pride,

 

Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Chancellor and President

Page last updated 11:08 AM, March 26, 2020