Members of the Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents toured campus construction areas during the group’s October quarterly meeting.

Members of the Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents toured campus construction areas during the group’s October quarterly meeting. Pictured in the now-empty Turner Auditorium are, from left, Ireland Bramhall, student regent from Ennis; Brigettee Carnes Henderson and Jennifer Wade Winston, both of Lufkin; Karen Gantt, vice chair of the board from McKinney; Judy Larson Olson of The Woodlands; M. Thomas Mason, board secretary from Dallas; Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president; Alton Frailey, board chair from Katy; Dr. Scott Coleman of Houston; and Robert Flores and David Alders, both of Nacogdoches.

If approved, funding would be used to establish collaborative research center

An effort by Stephen F. Austin State University to establish the Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation – where faculty, staff and students can engage in research development projects that support academic programs and boost regional economic development – began Monday with the approval by the Board of Regents of a $3.57 million Economic Development Administration grant application to provide a physical location for the center.

“When you bring people from disparate disciplines and backgrounds together, new ideas, products and solutions to problems emerge that would never have occurred otherwise,” said Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president. “In whatever business or industry it may be, bringing people together with SFA’s outstanding faculty and students to form research teams around problem-solving – great things will happen. New ideas and new products and technologies can be developed, and we want to be on the forefront of this innovation.”  

Regents also ratified the 2022-23 Legislative Appropriations Request, which includes funding for an Agriculture and Technology Complex, an Interdisciplinary and Applied Sciences Building, and operational funding for the Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation.

The grandstands recently constructed at the SFA Soccer Field near the corner of Wilson Drive and Starr Avenue will be known as the Joe and Frances Atkinson Family Grandstands, based on the board’s approval of a donation from the Mary Frances Atkinson Charitable Trust in support of the SFA women's soccer program. The stands include a premium suite area and have allowed SFA Athletics to sell soccer season tickets to the public for the first time in program history.

Regents also approved multi-year grant awards for FY20 and FY21. Grant awards for FY21 total $5.56 million.
The regents heard reports from the Faculty Senate and the Student Government Association.

The board also:

  • ratified a contract amendment with Vivature for medical billing services;
  • approved an updated holiday schedule for FY21;
  • extended the contract for completion of FY20 website development;
  • approved policy revisions and the annual audit report and internal audit charter;
  • and approved the minutes of previous meetings.

Four faculty members were approved by regents to fulfill interim leadership roles, including Chay Runnels, interim director, human sciences; Luis Aguerrevere, interim chair, human services; James Langford, interim chair, biology; and Matthew Beauregard, interim chair, physics, engineering and astronomy. Regents appointed William Davis visiting assistant professor of education studies in the Perkins College of Education.

Other faculty promotions included Victoria Wagner-Greene, assistant professor of kinesiology and health science, and Heather Munro, assistant professor of human services.  In Languages, Cultures and Communications, Kathleen McGough, adjunct faculty, was approved as lecturer, and Michael Welsh, lecturer, was approved as associate professor.  

Judith Kruwell, human resources interim director, was approved as associate vice president for finance and administrative services, and John Wyatt, associate director, was approved to serve as interim director of Human Resources.

Other appointments included Garret Ashabranner, broiler research center supervisor; Evan Amstutz, assistant volleyball coach; and Lionel Nau, assistant track coach.

Michara DeLaney-Fields, former assistant dean, was approved as chief diversity officer for the university. Alex Reisinger, former admissions coordinator, was approved as Axe Handle One Stop supervisor.

Regents approved changes of status for Megan Weatherly, from instructional design coordinator to director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and Jana Redfield, from assistant director to associate director of the STEM Research and Learning Center. In the University Police Department, Craig Goodman was promoted from assistant chief to deputy chief of police.

In Residence Life, regents approved Carla Chumley as assistant director business operations and Donna Hammond as assistant director resident services.

In the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Dennis Mosely was approved as director, and Amanda Smith was approved as coordinator.

Regents named Jere Jackson as Professor Emeritus of history and approved the following changes of status:

  • Kara Carpenter, from assistant director to associate director, Athletics compliance;
  • Jane Ann Bridges, from assistant director to assistant executive chief of Audit Services;
  • Dorothy Tubbs, from project coordinator to project director, Counseling Services;
  • Morgan Smith, from senior analyst to associate director, Institutional Research;
  • Brittany Beck, from admissions coordinator to director, Orientation;
  • Jessica DeWitt, from project manager to assistant director, Physical Plant;
  • Nick Stallworth, from associate director to director, Student Center;
  • Daphne Curl, from manager to director, Testing Services;
  • and Amanda Pruit, from director to coordinator, Title IX.