Texas State University established the 2012-2017 University Plan building on the success of the 2004-2009 and Extended 2012 University Plans. Over the course of the last few years, Texas State has added numerous academic programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels, opened the new schools of nursing and engineering, created the Honors College and Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) to enhance the undergraduate learning experience. In addition, we have vastly improved our undergraduate retention and graduation rates, become a Hispanic Serving University, developed a Division I FBS football program, and achieved Emerging Research University status.
As we developed this plan, we were guided by the fundamental principle that our students must be the primary beneficiaries of the university goals we define, as well as the initiatives supporting those goals. Within this framework, we sought to balance a complex variety of goals that address, not only student success while at Texas State, but success after graduation. Goals also address the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) Closing the Gaps targets for access, success, quality, and research. They include promoting academic quality through building and supporting a distinguished faculty; providing opportunities for a public university education and contributing to economic and cultural development; providing a premier undergraduate experience for students that fosters their success; and enriching our learning and working environment by attracting and supporting a more diverse faculty, staff, and student body.
At the core of the University Plan is the Academic Plan, which identifies a number of specific goals we will pursue and actions we will take to accomplish these goals. The academic plan emphasizes Texas State’s intention as an Emerging Research University to address student and faculty issues reflecting institutional excellence, issues that ultimately trigger eligibility for National Research University status. The university will have to increase restricted research expenditures to at least $45 million annually for two consecutive years, and meet at least four of the following six other measures of excellence:
1. Endowment equal to or greater than $400 million
2. Total Ph.Ds. awarded equal to or greater than 200 in each of the previous two years
3. High achievement of freshmen classes for two years as determined by the THECB and a commitment to improving the participation and success of underrepresented students
4. Institutional recognition of research capabilities and scholarly attainment (e.g., Association of Research Libraries membership or a Phi Beta Kappa chapter of the honor society on campus)
5. High-quality faculty for two years (e.g., national academy members or Nobel Prize recipients; other national or international distinction for a minimum of 7 faculty)
6. High-quality graduate-level programs and competitive doctoral programs, including doctoral assistant stipend
We recognize that while this plan will serve as a guide for action, we will continue to scan the environment and make adjustments when necessary. The goal of this plan is to provide a template to help establish priorities for the future but not a straitjacket to prevent us from seizing opportunities or responding to external challenges and threats.
As with previous plans, we will conduct a formal review of the University Plan every two years through revisiting division, college, and department plans to determine what possible initiatives may be included in the University Plan. During this time departments, schools, colleges, and divisions will have the opportunity to reprioritize and add or delete goals and related initiatives to better address changing needs.