Highlights from the rescheduled board meeting

Dear Texas Woman’s Colleagues,

February’s winter storm forced the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents to delay its first quarterly meeting of 2021, so the board moved its meeting—in a more abbreviated form—to this week.

What normally would have been two days—committee meetings one day with detailed presentations followed by a meeting of the full board the next day—was condensed into two hours in a morning Zoom call. As always, regents had important matters to address, the highlights of which I am pleased to share with you.

The board approved grant awards from external sources totaling $1.1 million, nearly $1 million of which was earmarked for wide-ranging research projects such as equine-assisted therapy and cervical cancer prevention in Black immigrant women. It is a reminder of what I call “research that matters”— projects that address significant issues in society.

Regents approved an expanded renovation project for Jones Hall, which will create additional space for our dental hygiene program. This revised plan not only satisfies accreditation requirements but also allows the program to grow. It includes ten more simulation stations, up to five additional dental chairs, and multiple radiology rooms. Our dental hygiene program is not only renowned but offers a vital service to the community. Recently, the program conducted a free clinic for underserved students in the Little Elm Independent School District. Additional space was also necessary to better accommodate the vital work of Counseling and Psychological Services.

The board also approved expanding a Ph.D. in Rhetoric program to include distance learning, which would make it more accessible to teachers and other working professionals who have schedules that make it difficult to attend classes in person. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts annual growth of about 5,000 jobs per year in the area of English and communications, and this program will help many professionals pursue new opportunities in those fields.

Regents adopted a resolution supporting an effort to make Texas Woman’s University its own system. The university is currently one of only three independent public institutions in Texas that are not part of a university system.

During a discussion of the resolution, Regent Shepard hit the nail on the head: “I was on the coordinating board prior to being a regent, which gave me a statewide perspective… I see this resolution to preserve our identity and to preserve our status in the state and the nation as one of the best strategic moves we could make. It gives Texas Woman’s the position it really deserves.”

Making Texas Woman’s with its three campuses a system would give us the distinction of being the nation’s only university system with a woman-focused mission and would help facilitate expansion in a way that boosts partnerships, programming, and philanthropy. I will be testifying before legislative committees next week on the bills that would make Texas Woman’s University a system.

Lastly, the board selected a new chair, Kathleen Wu, and vice-chair, Stacie McDavid, along with Bernadette Coleman as chair of the Academic Affairs committee, all veteran regents with a wealth of knowledge about board matters and the Texas Woman’s University. Regents Coleman and McDavid are also Texas Woman's alumnae, making us doubly proud to have them in leadership posts on the board.

I want to thank our outgoing chair, Jill Jester, for her superior leadership and commitment to maintaining Texas Woman’s as an outstanding institution. Also, I wish to express appreciation and utmost respect for Regents Janelle Shepard, Teresa Doggett, and Carlos Gallardo, whose terms expired in February and who will remain on the board until their successors are duly sworn. These regents gave a tremendous amount of energy to make our university better, and we wish them well.

I look forward to working with the board’s new leadership and its new members when they are selected. I feel confident in our goals of advancing the interests of Texas Woman’s—and contributing to our state’s vitality.

With a pioneering spirit,

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

Page last updated 9:30 AM, March 30, 2021