Highlights from the May 2023 board meeting

Dear Texas Woman’s Community,

I just read that “life is not about how to survive in the storm but how to dance in the rain!” While profoundly true, it is a truth easier to accept when the skies are neither storming nor raining. In fact, today is positively sunny, on many levels, as we wrap up the two-day quarterly meetings of the Texas Woman’s University System Board of Regents.

The establishment of the Doswell School of Aeronautical Sciences and the announcement of a $15 million gift from the Doswell Foundation shined brightly among all the board actions this quarter. As I have said before, the momentum for Texas Woman’s mission is continuing to build. This is an honor for all of our hard work, but it is also a great responsibility. It is one we are not only well positioned to champion but eager to launch.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Kimberly Russell and her team for shepherding this incredible gift along with all their help stewarding our philanthropic partners and developing programs for our alumni. She reported on events from Colorado to Austin to the highest attended Dallas Leadership Luncheon in Texas Woman’s history to new frontiers in tailgating at TWU Pioneer Basketball this quarter. Philanthropists love to invest in work that produces outcomes, and we have great outcomes- and excellence-focused faculty and staff here at Texas Woman’s.

Chancellor Feyten with the TWU Board of Regents, all holding model airplanes

Dr. Javier Flores reported on summer enrollment, expected to be up across all levels compared to last year. Fall 2023 enrollment projections also show increases for the first time in college cohort, transfer students, and those pursuing doctoral studies. It is now on all of us to translate this enrollment into increased credit hour production on which formula funding is based. It will take significant recruitment to replace the roughly 2,700 students who participated in commencement exercises last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The Finance and Audit Committee meeting concluded with approval of several construction and infrastructure projects, including in ACT, a new Frame Street entrance off of University Drive, Oracle Cloud budget pre-authorization, and the acceptance of $1.2 million in grants. I want to thank Jason Tomlinson and his team for their leadership of these new construction projects while continuing the ones underway. I also want to thank Sharon Delgado, interim chief audit executive for her leadership of the Office of Audit Services and her report.

Dr. John Terrizzi, Jr., speaker of the TWU Faculty Senate offered a resolution in gratitude to Student Regent Lily Wilson for her service and wished her well as she left yesterday afternoon to start an internship in Washington, D.C. He also spoke eloquently and powerfully about the senate's resolutions of support for academic freedom and open inquiry as well as a resolution of support for diversity and inclusion. These are cornerstone values at Texas Woman’s.

Provost Graves recommended six faculty for development leave and reinforced the value of this practice. He also recommended approval of 36 faculty for promotion and tenure. On the program side, he recommended the approval of a new bachelor’s degree in environmental chemistry, a bachelor’s in environmental sciences, and a bachelor’s in aviation sciences. The regents approved all his recommendations. The provost also introduced Dr. Jennifer Woo who presented her compelling research on “Psychosocial and Molecular Pathways to Preterm Birth in Black Women,” funded by an NIMHD K23 grant. The regents and I express how proud we are of Dr. Woo’s work. She epitomizes doing research that matters.

At the full board meeting, the provost and I gave reports on our SACSCOC site visit, final approval for our AACSB accreditation, and winning the ACE/Fidelity Investments Institutional Transformation Award. Sandee Mott gave an update on TWU Athletics, one of the highlights of every board meeting (starting at 48 minutes into today’s recording if you want to spend five minutes reveling in TWU Athletic greatness).

With 11 days of the 88th Texas Legislature remaining, Kevin Cruser offered his best-case assessment of a busy session. Preliminarily, the budget looks good, but I am never one to count on anything until final approval. Still, I am so grateful to have professionals like Kevin and his team helping the university navigate these complex legislative sessions. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work!

Finally, I offered my reminder that the momentum we are feeling is not because of any one lucky break but because we are all pushing on a heavy flywheel, turn upon turn, until momentum builds, as author Jim Collins describes. That momentum is carrying us into our next strategic plan. I offered the board members a listing of the teams of faculty and staff leading the development of our next strategic plan. I will share that list with you in the postscript.

I started with talking about mindset and how life is about figuring out how to dance in the rain. The weather and so much is out of our control, but how we respond to our environment is not. While it is sunny and things are looking up, I am reminding myself to stay grounded and grateful. None of our success is possible without the many, many contributions of members of the Texas Woman’s community. Thank you for making this a great day to be a Pioneer!

With a pioneering spirit,

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

PS - Momentum: Strategic Plan 2028 Leaders

Design Team

  • Sharon Bailey – co-lead
    Admin. Asst. to Associate Dean for Educator Preparation and Partnerships, Denton
  • Chad Smith, Ph.D. – co-lead
    Professor in Education of the Deaf Program, Denton
  • La’Bradford Harold
    Associate Director of Development, Student Life & Athletics, Denton
  • Dewaynna Horn, Ph.D.
    Associate Dean for Accreditation in College of Business, Houston
  • Christopher Johnson
    Chief of Staff, Denton
  • Emarely Rosa-Dávila, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Social Work and TWU Faculty Senate, Denton
  • Christy Savage
    Project Manager of Creative Services in Marketing and Communications, Denton
  • Jennifer Woo, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Nursing, Dallas

Imperative co-leads

1. Double the number of STEM opportunities

  • Rhett Rigby, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor, School of Health Promotion and Kinesiology and Co-director of the Institute for Women’s Health
  • Juliet Spencer, Ph.D.
    Professor of Biology and Director, School of the Sciences

2. Leverage the power of our systemness to serve our communities better

  • Christina Bickley, Ph.D.
    Director of Research, Associate Professor, School of Physical Therapy, Houston
  • Lynda Murphy, Ed.D.
    Director of Teaching and Learning with Technology
  • Jared Vernon
    Manager, Technology and Dallas Center Operations

3. Amplify the social impact aspects of our mission and brand

  • Michelle Kelly, Ph.D.
    Director of Health and Wellbeing
  • Gabrielle P.A. Smith, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor, Psychology

4. Put student prosperity at the heart of all we do

  • Angela Shierk, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy
  • Kyle Voyles
    Executive Director, Center for Student Development

Initiative co-leads

1. People, Processes and Culture

  • William Benner, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor in English, Speech & Foreign Languages
  • Christian Hart, Ph.D.
    Professor and Director of Master’s in Psychological Science Program

2. Research

  • Holly Hansen-Thomas, Ph.D.
    Vice Provost for Research, Innovation, & Corporate Engagement
  • Abigail Tilton, Ph.D.
    Dean for College of Arts and Sciences

3. International

  • Ashley Bender, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor in English, Speech & Foreign Languages
  • Annie Phillips, Ph.D.
    Executive Director for International Affairs

4. Childcare and development

  • Catherine Dutton, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Family Studies
  • Amy O’Keefe
    Executive Director, Campus Alliance for Resource Education

5. Partnerships

  • TBD

Page last updated 4:34 PM, May 18, 2023