SFA regents review staff, student reports on system affiliation options

Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 3:12 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The SFA Board of Regents received feedback on the university’s options for system affiliation presented by four key groups: the student government association, staff council, academic affairs group, and alumni.

The board began by expressing appreciation for the time and effort that participants have put into addressing this decision. Four system affiliates were considered: Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech and University of Texas. The meeting proceeded with presentations by each group.

The student government association submitted 19 questions summarizing their concerns to each potential affiliate, and the responses were reviewed during a roundtable with about 20 students. Student body president, Madison Gartman reported on the strengths and weaknesses students perceived for each potential affiliation.

“It’s still up in the air for students. A lot of students don’t know what questions to ask. They don’t know how this process works whereas other stakeholders groups are little more of…more focused on what they’re concerned about,” said Gartman.

The staff council provided their evaluation of staff opinions gathered on paper with “on the ground” collection boxes to ensure a wide response base that would include even those uncomfortable with digital options. They received about 400 responses representing almost 50% of the staff, according to the representative. These responses were then condensed into a list of 20 questions centered around five categories: governance, policies and procedures; systems resources investment and accountability; human resources; organizational structure and the university’s relationship with the community; and financial autonomy for SFA.

The SFA academic affairs group also presented a strengths and weaknesses assessment based on six surveys. Academic affairs executive vice president, Lorenzo Smith said they received over 200 responses to each inquiry, attracting as many as 1,000 participants. Each of the surveys focused on a potential system affiliate’s commitment to introducing new revenue for six different categories: staff salaries, faculty salaries, student financial aid, synergistic programs, future initiatives and SFA mission-centered budgeting.

“These are people inside and outside of academic affairs. Faculty, advisors, recruiters, reception staff, police, counselors.” Smith said over faculty and staff playing a part of student success.

Lastly, the alumni association discussed their findings from over 900+ unique comments collected on social media, representing more than 115,000 living SFA alumni. The presenter stated a surprising 99.2% of responses indicated alumni feel strongly that the brand of the university (the colors, logo, and name) must be protected, but as long as this cultural identity is well guarded they would be positive about affiliation.

The full presentations made during the meeting are available for public review on the university webpage dedicated to university system affiliation evaluation.