Tarleton benefits from legislative session

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STEPHENVILLE (June 15, 2015) —The 84th Legislature approved a number of measures that, if signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, will benefit Tarleton State University. This is the first of four articles detailing Tarleton’s successes during the session.

Highlights include:
• An increase in the General Academic Formulas to fund enrollment growth, including a modest funding rate increase, which benefits Tarleton as one of the fastest growing universities in the state.
• Authorization of capital construction revenue bonds, with $54 million designated for an Applied Sciences building on the Stephenville campus and $39.6 million for the first building on the new 80-acre Fort Worth campus.
• A special item allocation of $2 million for a Tarleton Center for Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Research.
• An increase in funding for group health insurance premiums for higher education employees and retirees.

“This has been a very positive session for higher education and Tarleton,” said President F. Dominic Dottavio. “Our top priority was to obtain additional enrollment funding and we were able to do that. Rep. J.D. Sheffield and Sen. Craig Estes made Tarleton their legislative priority and we greatly appreciate their efforts on our behalf.”

Rep. Sheffield, noting Tarleton’s positive outcomes from the session, said “Tarleton has always been a legislative priority for my office. The first bill I filed as a State Representative was for Tarleton. I am happy with what was achieved during the session and look forward to watching the continued success the university brings to House District 59 and the state of Texas.”

“I am very pleased with the work we were able to accomplish in the 84th Legislative session,” said Sen. Estes. “We had some unique challenges to address this year, but I believe we provided the state of Texas with strong, conservative solutions. As the legislator with more institutions of higher education than any other district in the state, I am pleased that we were able to push more dollars into the funding formulas and provide much needed capital funding for state universities.”

Tarleton has increased its enrollment 36 percent over the past five years, and the formula funding increase will ensure the university’s ability to continue providing high quality teaching and support services. While enrollments have grown, the university also has improved in retaining students and graduation rates each year.

“The formula funding increase will enhance our ability to assist students in successfully completing their degree programs to reach graduation, and prepare them for outstanding careers in their chosen professions,” said Dr. Dottavio.

The Applied Science building will enable the university to add state-of-the art laboratory facilities for engineering and engineering technology programs, while also adding laboratory space for agricultural and environmental science programs. The Fort Worth facility will have classrooms and administrative space to serve a growing population of students seeking bachelor’s and graduate degrees in one of the most vibrant cities in the state.

The $2 million for the Tarleton Center for Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Research will use computer data mining to analyze state and federally funded programs to prevent fraud and abuse and save taxpayer dollars.

The increase in funds for group health insurance premiums will cover new employees and aid the university in retaining its faculty and staff.

Articles highlighting specifics about the Applied Sciences Building in Stephenville, the first building on Tarleton’s 80-acre Fort Worth campus, and the Center for Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Research will follow.

Tarleton State University, a member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. With campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.

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