State Senator Drew Springer (SD-30) and State Representative Lynn Stucky (HD-64) have filed Senate Bill 1126 and House Bill 2705, which seek to establish the three campuses of Texas Woman's University as the seventh university system in Texas, the first in the nation with a woman-focused mission.
Currently, thirty-four of the 38 public universities in Texas are governed by six existing systems. Texas Woman’s University is one of the four public universities in Texas that are independent of a university system — each with its own board of regents. Last year, Midwestern State University began the process of joining the Texas Tech University System, which would then leave only three independent universities: Stephen F. Austin University, Texas Southern, and Texas Woman’s. With its three campuses in distinct municipalities (Denton, Dallas and Houston), Texas Woman’s operates as a system in many ways already.
TWU Chancellor Carine M. Feyten said making Texas Woman’s a system is a logical step in the university’s evolution.
“This endeavor will expand our role of providing quality education to Texans and enhance our identity as the only university system in the nation that is woman focused,” Feyten said. “I am grateful for the leadership of Dr. Stucky and Senator Springer on this issue and their willingness to represent TWU in this endeavor.”
Senate Bill 1126 was filed March 8 coinciding with International Women’s Day 2021. To become law, the bills have to move through several steps including committee votes, adoption by both chambers, and signing by the governor. If signed into law, the bill would not change formula funding, mandate new positions, or even change any titles, as Chancellor Feyten’s title is already that of chancellor and president.
“We view this change as an opportunity to increase operational efficiencies, expand academic programs, broaden community and corporate partnerships and enhance philanthropic activity, which will in turn broaden Texas Woman’s state impact and contribute to Texas’ economic vitality," said TWU Board of Regents Chair Jill Jester. "Denton has always been the home of TWU and we believe it is important that the TWU System administration and the administration of the flagship institution be one in the same to avoid creating unnecessary bureaucracy and to ensure Texas Woman’s and Denton continue to grow together for the next 100 years.”
The university has scheduled a virtual university forum for Thursday, March 18 at 3 p.m. with the TWU system and how it fits into the university’s Dallas and Houston Expansion initiative in the strategic plan as one topic on the agenda. You may RSVP for the forum at this link.