Remarks by Dr. Shreekanth (Shreek) Mandayam, Vice President for Research

State of Texas State

Friday, August 18, 2023

University Events Center, Strahan Arena  

What an incredible time for research here at Texas State University! To prove that we are just not running —but racing— to R1, here are some numbers:

  1. One-hundred and forty million dollars in research expenditures this year which we have been awarded by federal agencies, the state government, private industries, and investment right here by the institution. 
  2. We have invested $18 million —$12 million to recruit 100 new Ph.D. students into existing Ph.D. programs across the university. And additional investments are planned to double the number of Ph.D. programs at Texas State.
  3. In addition, Texas State has invested $6 million in recruiting more than 30 postdocs across the university.

By the time the Carnegie Foundation classifies us as R1 in 2027, we hope we will be graduating about 75 to 100 Ph.D. students every year, having more than 100 postdocs, and our research expenditures will continue to grow.

So, these numbers are important, but what does it mean for our people here at Texas State?

It means that Ph.D. students like Brandon Burtchell… he was a computer science major here and as an undergrad he worked on self-driving cars. He could have gone anywhere in the country for his Ph.D., but we retained him right here at Texas State with a competitive assistantship to work in Dr. Martin Burtscher’s lab on high-speed data compression. 

It means that Ph.D. graduates like Dr. Toni Moreno could work with the incredible Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, to continue her research on first-generation student success. And as a postdoc in a competitive job market, she was able to secure a faculty position right here at Texas State. She’s joining us as an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work. Welcome back, Dr. Toni Moreno!  

These numbers mean that our faculty engage in research that changes the lives of Texans, of Americans, and of citizens all over the world.

Just a few examples of the strengths we have that our faculty demonstrate:  

  • Smart Living – reflected in the work of faculty at the Materials Application Research Center (MARC)
  • Safe Living – addressed by the work of faculty at the Texas School Safety Center and ALERRT Center
  • Healthy Living – which is the focus of faculty at the Translational Health Research Center (THRC)
  • Sustainable Living – which drives the work of faculty in the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment 

These are just a few examples. We are growing all research areas and creating new research areas. 

As Dr. Damphousse mentioned, TUF – the Texas University Fund – potentially a $1 billion permanent endowment for Texas State, will require a popular vote of Texans on this November’s ballot. So as a public employee in the State of Texas I cannot tell you how to vote. 

But I will tell you this: this is a game-changer. This is an extraordinary investment by the legislature in the future of Texas State University – an investment in our faculty, our staff, our students, our infrastructure – forever. I won’t tell you how to vote, but vote your conscience. For the new faculty, and staff and students who have moved to Texas, please register to vote, I can tell you that. 

Our amazing team in the Division of Research is here to support you on our Run to R1. Thank you for running with us! It’s my honor to serve you, thank you!