Regents table proposed SWT name change
SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Southwest Texas State University’s governing body Friday tabled a proposal to shorten the school’s name to Texas State University.
Meeting in Huntsville on the campus of Sam Houston State University, members of the Texas State University System Board of Regents voted unanimously to postpone taking action on the name change proposal. No time frame for reconsideration of the proposal was stipulated.
“This was our first try,” said SWT President Jerome Supple, a proponent of the name change. “The board did not say no. Tabling it keeps it alive. Support from the SWT family is strong. We are confident that in the future the board will pass it by a large majority. What we have accomplished is that we’ve started down the road. We need to send the message that this is the beginning and not an end.”
Had the regents approved the proposal, the next step would have been consideration of the matter by the Texas Legislature.
Regent Nancy Neal, who chairs a committee seeking a replacement for Supple when he retires in August, said, “Timing is everything. If we proceed to have this controversial unfinished business, the next president would inherit a legislative priority she did not choose. The new president would come in days away from the next legislative session.”
Regent Patricia Diaz Dennis said, “Nothing negative is implied about the issue by this vote. It’s not the right time.”
The proposed name change has been a topic of interest on campus and among alumni nationwide for the past two years. Several stakeholders on both sides of the issue addressed the regents during a public hearing on the matter held Thursday.
SWT has had five names in its history. Those names have been:
- 1899-1918 – Southwest Texas State Normal School
- 1918-1923 – Southwest Texas State Normal College
- 1923-1959 – Southwest Texas State Teachers College
- 1959-1969 – Southwest Texas State College
- 1969-present – Southwest Texas State University.
Members of the nine-member Board of Regents are Dionicio “Don” Flores of El Paso, chair; John P. Hageman of Austin, vice chair; Kent Adams of Beaumont; Patricia Diaz Dennis of San Antonio; Alan W. Dreeben of Schertz; James A. “Jimmy” Hayley of Texas City; Nancy R. Neal of Lubbock; Pollyanna A. Stephens of San Angelo; and James L. Sweatt III of DeSoto.