President, Provost join Faculty Senate for legislature update

News Reporter

President Denise Trauth and Provost Eugene Bourgeois attended the April 6 Faculty Senate meeting to discuss topics including funding bills and campus carry.

Trauth and Bourgeois shared an update after meeting with legislators and Texas State alumni at the Capitol.

“This looks like it is going to be a good session for higher education,” Trauth said. “Today, the House Bill 100 was laid out. This was a very important day for us.”

House Bill 100 (HB100) and Senate Bill 21 (SB 21) relate to the distribution of revenue bonds to fund capital projects at public institutions of higher education.

Trauth said construction of a new health professions building at the Round Rock campus would cost $60.5 million.

SB 21, if approved, would grant $50.6 million, and the House would allow $48.6 million for funding of the health professions building Trauth said.

Trauth said she expects the amount to be met somewhere in the middle and will look for a philanthropic gift to make up difference.

“We thought engineering would get it, so all of that sounded good,” said Celeste Domsch, communication disorders associate professor.

The new science and engineering building on the San Marcos campus was priced at $107 million, Trauth said. HB 100 would cut budgets priced higher than $100 million. University officials expect to receive $67.5 million from the State and a $5 million pledge from Bruce and Gloria Ingram.

Trauth hopes the Texas Research Incentive Program (T.R.I.P.) will match the Ingram pledge and bring in an additional $5 million. The Ingram family has pledged the pouring of concrete, which costs an estimated $2.1 million.

Trauth said university officials may have to account for less backing of the science and engineering building. If this happens, officials will decrease the planned square footage and “shelve the space” that does not have funding.

“One of the things that is recognizable is that the leadership wants this to pass,” Trauth said. “There is very little push-back.”

Trauth also discussed campus carry.

Officials with the Texas State University System have convened a committee to deliberate on rules and regulations to be established if campus carry were to be implemented, Trauth said. The senate bill on the issue has passed, but the house bill is still in committee. The bill will go into effect Sept. 1 if passed.