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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Board of Regents presents at Student Senate

The+Board+of+Regents+presented+to+the+Student+Senate+Wednesday+night.
Photo by Photo by: Wesley Holmes

The Board of Regents presented to the Student Senate Wednesday night.

After a day of meetings in the MSC, some of the Texas A&M University System Regents made their way to Koldus to give a presentation during Student Senate’s final meeting of the academic year.

Regent and Board of Regents’ Finance Chair Charles Schwartz spoke for the majority of the Regents’ presentation, focusing on the current state of A&M’s finances. He prefaced his presentation by saying he believes it is important for the Student Senate to be aware of where things stand in regards to student tuition and fees.

Schwartz presented a lot of information to Senate, including the state of Texas’ general revenue appropriations, the growth in the price of tuition for Texas A&M students since 1973 and the fact that more than 50 percent of the university’s expenses go toward personnel costs.

While the presentation did not present any new data to the student senators, the floor was opened up for questioning and several questions arose about the 25×25 initiative, a plan in which the university hopes to have 25,000 engineering students enrolled by 2025. Student senators questioned Schwartz about how the growth would be funded by the university. Schwartz said there would be financial consequences to the growth that would be felt in different areas, comparing it to calculus.

“You can’t change one metric or value without the other values changing and it’s a very big mistake to think that you can change one input and all the other metrics stay in a steady state because they all affect each other,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said the changes will not be made at the detriment of another department, though.

“No one’s going to say ‘We we’re going to stall the enrollment in the school of education, or the business school, or the school of liberal arts … to provide for enough growth,’” Schwartz said. “Growth in the university is a very, very complex issue for the board.”

Chairman of the Board of Regents Cliff Thomas said the university has been growing at a rate of roughly 3 percent each year without the help or effort of the Board of Regents or the university, so the controlled and planned growth 25×25 would bring is not a brand new phenomenon for the university.

“I’ve been on the board here for five years and … there has been no conscious effort by the board of regents or the faculty to grow this university,” Thomas said. “It’s just, this university is in such demand … it’s just propelled itself.”

Thomas said in order to ensure the quality of education stays at its current level, it will require limiting the amount the university grows, something he said Texas A&M President Michael Young agrees with.

“It’s hard to keep it from growing, it really is, we’re going to have to throttle it back … because we’re over extending and we’re not going to sacrifice the quality of the education — the board will not let that happen,” Thomas said. “If President Young was here he’d be saying right beside me, we’re going to have to kind of throttle it back until we can go find that money and hire those teachers and do what we need to do and keep the quality.

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