Texas Tech System construction projects, new degree programs and the presence of a new student regent were all topics discussed during a Board of Regents meeting earlier today.
Before discussing any items planned for the meeting, the board conducted a swearing-in ceremony for this year's student regent.
Sean Lewis, former Student Government Association president and the board’s 2019-20 student regent, was sworn in at the beginning of the meeting. He gave thanks to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Regent John Steinmetz for their encouragement in pursuing the position.
“I’m excited to get started,” he said. Thank you to the rest of the board as well.”
After going into executive session, the board discussed a variety of items, whether it be regarding construction within the System's different institutions or the progress of certain institutions.
During the meeting, Patrick Kramer, vice chancellor for Tech System Institutional Advancement, and Billy Breedlove, vice chancellor for the Tech System Facilities Planning and Construction, presented multiple items within the facilities committee.
The board approved the acceptance of a 54.5-acre property gift, which is adjacent to the Tech Equestrian Center, from donors Curtis and Sue Griffith. The board also approved “ASCO Hall” as the name of the lobby within the Tech School of Veterinary Medicine to honor donors to the school.
Along with these items, the board also approved expenditures of $1,683,402 for a total of $2,372,875 for the Dental Oral Health Clinic at the Tech Health Sciences Center El Paso.
Richard Lange, HSC El Paso President, said the simulation center will be temporary.
“Currently, the school itself will be in two buildings,” he said. “We have shelved out a floor in the Medical Science Building for investigators and that will be where the temporary dental simulation center will go.”
Regarding Tech campus projects, Breedlove said the Dustin R. Womble Basketball Center is progressing as the men’s basketball gym has been framed and expected completion of the facility is in June 2020.
“About 85 percent of the concrete is now been placed,” he said. “We lost some time in the spring with all the rain we got.”
Regarding the completion of the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum and Auditorium demolition, Breedlove said there are some plans to get it ready for Tech Athletic events.
“For the first football game, our goal is to have the fence back, sod down, benches and trees available to the tailgaters just where the auditorium was,” he said.
In addition to construction projects, a media partnership was also discussed.
The board approved Tech Public Media KTTZ-TV’s acquisition of the assets and licenses of KCOS-TV, the Public Broadcasting Service affiliate in El Paso. KCOS-TV was at risk of losing broadcast abilities due to not meeting the fundraising threshold set by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Among these approvals, items regarding faculty tenure and degree programs at the were also discussed during the meeting.
A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance was approved by the board along with tenure for seven faculty members at Tech.