(AUSTIN) - Texas State University-San Marcos has been reclassified as an Emerging Research University by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
University officials were notified of the reclassification on Thursday, Jan. 12.
Texas State now joins seven other Texas public universities that are already classified as Emerging Research Universities. They are Texas Tech University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Houston and the University of North Texas.
Before the reclassification, Texas State was listed in the Doctoral Universities category along with Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas Southern University and Texas Woman’s University.
“This is a very important moment for Texas State University. It reflects an enormous amount of work undertaken and accomplished by so many people. It is the start of a new era for our university,” said Texas State President Denise Trauth.
Texas State was classified as a Doctoral University in 2004, when Gov. Rick Perry issued an executive order requiring the Coordinating Board and universities to develop an accountability system for public higher education. Under that system, institutions were grouped according to general academic mission and certain key academic indicators such as size and number of graduate programs, research expenditures and other factors.
Trauth said the classifications were established as subject to revision as universities evolved.
“We worked diligently toward our goal of becoming an Emerging Research University. Texas State has evolved into a premier student-centered educational experience that fosters retention and success and is built on academic programs with clearly defined learning outcomes and a rigorous level of academic challenge,” she said.
The Coordinating Board defines Emerging Research Universities as institutions that offer a wide range of baccalaureate and master’s degree programs, serve a student population within and outside the region, are committed to graduate education through the doctorate in targeted areas of excellence, award at least 20 doctoral degrees per year, offer at least 10 doctoral programs and/or enroll at least 150 doctoral students and have research expenditures of at least $14 million per year.
Texas State currently enrolls more than 400 doctoral students and had $33,486,997 in total research expenditures in the 2011 fiscal year.
Doctoral Universities – Texas State’s former classification – offer a wide range of excellent baccalaureate and master’s programs and are committed to graduate education through the doctorate in targeted areas of excellence and/or regional need, award at least 10 doctoral degrees per year, offer at least five doctoral programs and have research expenditures of at least $2 million per year.
Trauth said Texas State remains deeply committed to undergraduate student success, even as the university broadens its mission to include doctoral programs and an expanded research agenda. She said that undergraduate retention and graduation rates have both improved since the university awarded its first doctoral degrees in 2000.