Sam Houston State University received the go-ahead Friday to develop a near $30 million on-campus hotel, conference center and criminal justice training facility.
The Texas State Board of Regents gave the local university authority to enter into multiple agreements and a ground lease with Tullis Development LLC for the development of facilities that will provide pre-service training for cadets and continual education for TDCJ leadership.
The hotel and conference center will boast 130 guest rooms,13,500-square-feet of meeting and conference room space and an 18,000-square-foot criminal justice training center that will be occupied by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The project will be financed by a separate series of tax-exempt bonds to be issued by Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation.
In subsequent action, regents also approved the buildout of the 9,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble bookstore, as well as the procurement and installation of audiovisual equipment be added to the Lowman Student Center Renovation project. The total cost for both projects was awarded $2.16 million.
Regents also approved the degree programs within the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology be separated to establish two units: Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and the Department of Victim Studies. The split will allow the two rapidly growing and uniquely different programs in Victim Studies to develop distinct missions and scopes as well as marketing strategies which directly reflect their specialized fields of study.
In finance, regents authorized undergraduate and graduate institutional services fees. The fees replace a variety of incidental fees and will fund critical support services and infrastructure that advance student success.
A 10 percent student service fee increase was approved.
“The change will allow SHSU to continue supporting existing services and operations, expand programs and services and cover fixed cost increases all of which are impacted by inflationary cost increases and enrollment growth,” university officials said in a release.
In personnel, the 2019 TSUS Regents Award recipients were formally recognized. Scott Chapman, professor of Mathematics at SHSU, was one of the four recipients honored with a Regents' Professor Award. The award recognizes professors whose performance and contributions to the educational community have been exemplary. Recipients of the Regents’ Professor Award maintain the title for the duration of their service within the university system and receive a monetary award and a commemorative medallion.