The Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents approved a program that will provide additional employment benefits to SFA faculty and staff members. The Lumberjack Education Assistance Program will increase the benefits available to SFA employees and their family members who enroll in SFA classes.

As a result of a new policy approved during the April regents meeting, LEAP will exempt mandatory tuition and fees for eligible participants, except statutory tuition, which is $50 per semester credit hour for undergraduate classes and $80 per semester credit hour for graduate classes.

Additionally, for SFA employees who enroll in courses, scholarship support will be available to cover the statutory tuition costs. There is no cap on the number of courses an employee, spouse or dependent may take with the LEAP benefit.

According to Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president, the goal of the program is to invest in SFA’s faculty and staff, to continue to support Lumberjack Families, and to attract additional high-quality faculty and staff.

“For those employees who have college-age children, we believe LEAP will be tremendously popular,” Gordon said. “It will increase our enrollment and credit hour production, which is particularly important during this academic year, when the Texas Legislature is calculating formula funding. In addition, we want to create a culture where faculty and staff members’ children choose to attend SFA and continue to build the pride and tradition of the Lumberjack family.”

Previously, employees and their families were eligible for up to $3,000 annually in tuition assistance benefits when enrolling in SFA courses.

During the April meeting, regents also approved:

  • policy revisions, curriculum changes, and minutes from the January and March meetings
  • a summer budget of $3.48 million for fiscal year 2019-20
  • and ratifying $596,703 in additional grant awards allocable to fiscal year 2020, due to faculty research and service.

Regents acknowledged the receipt of the audit services report and heard reports from the Faculty Senate and Student Government Association.