Compact with Texans
The Texas State University System
Established in 1911 to consolidate the support and management of the State’s teacher colleges, the Texas State University System Administrative Office coordinates contractual, personnel, financial, construction and architectural, academic and curricular, property, legal, audit, and general administrative matters among the System’s eight component institutions. The System Administrative Office’s primary constituents are its governing board of regents and its components institutions and their administrations; however, it interacts with numerous other state entities and agencies, including but not necessarily limited to the Governor’s Office, the Legislature, state and federal courts, the Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Counsel, the Attorney General’s Office, the State Auditor, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Comptroller of Public Accounts, and members of the general public. The head of the agency is Chancellor Brian McCall.
Customer Service Principles
The agency’s guiding principle has been quality, readily available service, timely and efficiently delivered. By providing support services to it component institutions in the contractual, personnel, financial, construction and architectural, academic and curricular, property, legal, audit and general administrative areas, the agency assists its component institutions in providing a wide range of high quality academic programs to the people of the State of Texas. The following specifics exemplify the agency’s goals, objectives and standards in fulfilling its social compact:
- Staff: A minimal staff of 23 administer an eight-institution higher educational system. The workload is administered centrally and delegated in the above-referenced service areas. Staff is responsive to the component institutions and other constituencies.
- Timeliness and Accessibility of Service Delivery: Telephone calls are answered the day of receipt if at all possible. In the event of emergency, each of the agency’s executive employees can be reached by cell phone when away from the office. The agency publishes a directory containing employee office, cell and home telephone numbers for component institution use. Necessary off-hour telephone calls are encouraged.
- Internet Technology/Effective Communication: The agency has a web site – www.tsus.edu – containing vital information on the System, including names, addresses, and telephone numbers of key personnel as well as its governing Rules and Regulations. Each employee can be reached in one of five ways: in person; via telephone; via facsimile; by United States and private mail delivery service; and via e-mail.
- Printed Information: The agency prints and distributes its Rules and Regulations, financial statements, and other key documents to its component institutions for access by its component institution administrations, faculty, staff, students, and the general public. As noted, the Rules and Regulations are available on-line.
- Teamwork, Respect, Trust, and Innovation: The agency encourages focus-area committees (for example, academic affairs, student services, construction, and finance), consisting of representatives from each of the component institutions, to meet and discuss system-wide issues and initiatives. From such efforts have come a teacher education initiative, a state-of-the-art intellectual property and distance education policy, and debt servicing and investment policies that leverage the System’s size to the economic advantage of the agency’s component institutions and their students.
- Accountability and Improvement: The Board of Regents meets at least once annually on the campus of each of its component institutions, striving to schedule those meetings when students are on campus. Also, by board rule, members of the general public may address the board on issues of concern to them. As to fiscal accountability, the agency has a system auditor with a direct reporting relationship with the Board of Regents. Each of the component institutions, in turn, have auditors, who have a direct reporting line to the Board through the system auditor.
- Openness and Mending Mistakes: The Board has established a student liaison committee, comprised of representatives from each of the component institutions. The committee has a designated place on the Board’s quarterly meeting agenda to discuss student concerns. The chancellor regularly has an open round table with faculty from the component institutions at which they share their insights and concerns about system and campus matters; and, he meets at least quarterly with the component institution presidents to discuss their concerns. Likewise, each System Office executive meets regularly with component institution representatives in the executive’s areas of responsibility. Finally, the agency’s Rules and Regulations are amended at least annually in a process that permits input, not only from the administrations of the component institutions, but also from their faculty, staff, and students.
Complaint Handling Process
Complaints about constituent institutions and their personnel are directed through the specific institution, which has published procedures for handling grievances and complaints. Any individual dissatisfied with campus resolution of a concern or with a member of the System Office staff may effect an appeal directly to the chancellor and, by rule, has the right to appear before the Board, state the complaint, and seek relief. Complainants are advised of these rights and timely provided gratis copies of applicable rules and policies. As a general rule, the chancellor, as head of the agency, is made aware of complaints lodged with the agency; and, the vice chancellor and general counsel is also alerted to assure that both the complainant and the person complained of receive all rights and due process to which they may be entitled.
Customer Service Representative
The agency’s Customer Service Representative is:
Director of Administration
Thomas J. Rusk Building
208 E. 10th Street, Suite 600
Austin, Texas 78701-2407
Phone: (512) 463-1808
FAX: (512) 463-1816