Hopes & Aspirations High

A Vision for the Future of TXST

Bold Action Taken

Below are a few of the early recommendations submitted to Cabinet from the presidential commissions, task forces and work group. 

  • Six million dollars of university reserves was allocated to admit 50 new PhD students for Spring and Summer 2023 in three PhD programs: Material Science, Engineering and Commercialization, Computer Science, and Aquatic Resources and Integrative Biology. Learn more in the January 4th update from the Presidential Commission on the Run to R1
  • To continue efforts to reduce the cost of attendance for undergraduates, we enhanced our total scholarship pool to attract incoming students by $2.1 million, reversing our initial plans to increase undergraduate tuition, and we continue to plan other ways to eliminate undergraduate tuition increases for the foreseeable future. 
  • Recruiting more international and graduate students is a critical part of our Run to R1 and has become a key enrollment growth priority. To that end, we removed a cap that limited the funds we could invest to recruit international students through partner agencies. Learn more in the January 4th update from the Recruitment Task Force

As of February 3, 2023:

  • $2.25 million per year with an incremental increase to account for annual inflation (about $11.6 million over the next five years) to launch a Student Success Center, which will include a student success platform that will allow the university to collect, compile, analyze, and act on data that are known to predict student success. 

  • $500,000 per year with an incremental 3% increase every year (for about $2.7 million over the next five years) to expand student access to virtual mental health counseling and other initiatives supporting student well-being. 

  • $2.1 million in FY2024 and $3.3 million in FY2025 to attract additional post-doctoral researchers to support our faculty members in their research endeavors.  Please note that this is envisioned as one-time seed money that will eventually be replaced by future grant proposals that include post-doctoral research funding (when possible).   

  • $2 million per year (FY2024 through FY2026) for additional PhD tuition scholarships and course release time for faculty members to allow for devoted concentration on research.    

  • $50,000 per year (FY2024 through FY2026) to fund operating and marketing initiatives necessary for recruiting additional doctoral students. 

  • An increase in graduate student scholarships of over $900,000 per year with an approved incremental 3% increase every year (more than $4.8 million over 5 years beginning in FY 2024).  

  • $40,000 per year with an approved incremental 5% increase every year (more than $272,000 over 6 years, beginning in FY 2023) to hire a consultant similar to the services the university utilizes at the undergraduate level to help guide the university and optimize the utilization of existing and new graduate scholarship dollars. 

  • University set aside $2 million in recurring/permanent funding to support proposals that come up through the strategic planning process (for a total of $10 million over the next 5 years) to increase faculty and staff in programs with deep applicant pools or offering new in-person and online programs.  

  • Evolved the Vice President for Student Affairs into a Vice President for Student Success (VPSS) to support goal of growing enrollment by elevating student success. Created a new Division of Student Success that will be comprised of departments in the Division of Student Affairs and specific student services units from University College. 

  • Transformed Associate Vice President for Research and Federal Relations into a Vice President for Research and Economic Development reporting to the president instead of the Provost (to support our goals of running to R1 and transforming the Round Rock Campus). Elevated Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to Division of Research.  

  • Created a new Vice President for Global and Online Initiatives reporting to the Provost to support our goal of growing enrollment   

  • Merged Communications and Marketing into its own division to enhance support of university priorities; transformed the Assistant Vice President for Communications into a Vice President for Communications and Marketing reporting to the president instead of the Vice President for University Administration.  

Supporting Employees

Beginning this Fall, TXST will offer up to a 25% tuition benefit for dependents of eligible employees. More information about this new benefit is forthcoming from Human Resources.

To ensure TXST pay rates are as competitive as possible and increase staffing levels, we’ve taken several steps including:

  • Spending well over $5 million to permanently increase the salaries of more than 1,400 employees. 
  • Removing the requirement that some salary increases have presidential approval. 
  • Providing 10% pay raises for 100+ student workers, including in our Student Learning Assistance Center. 
  • Awarding more than $9.6 million in one-time bonuses to employees.  
  • Adding more than a dozen new staff positions in critical areas. 

Removing Barriers

We have streamlined administrative processes and removed unnecessary barriers for faculty and staff, including:

  • Reducing the number of SACSCOC outcomes assessment reports significantly for our administrative support units. 
  • Approving remote work for employees during Energy Conversations Days. Each vice president can now determine whether their essential offices can operate remotely during that time. 
  • Eliminating additional approvals for food and beverage procurements.
  • Over 700 employee recommendations were submitted to the Administrative Burdens Task Force, many of which will be addressed in the upcoming report. Read the task force’s January 4th update

Next Steps this spring

  • Implementation begins on approved initiatives and actions. 
  • Cabinet continues to review recommendations and input for possible action.
  • Search for Vice President for TXST Round Rock is launched and plan to transform TXST Round Rock is developed.  
  • Launch search for Vice President of Global and Online Initiatives.