NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin is joining The University of Texas System.
The SFA Board of Regents voted to accept the invitation after "a comprehensive process evaluating affiliation with a university system, including responses and feedback from student, faculty, staff and alumni stakeholder groups, as well as the general public."
The board also approved a waiver so the search for the next SFA president can begin under the rules of the UT System Board of Regents.
SFA had been invited to join four systems — Texas A&M University System, Texas State University System, Texas Tech University System and The University of Texas System — and took a little over two months to make a decision.
"We are excited about the enormous opportunities this affiliation will provide for our students, faculty and staff," said Karen Gantt, SFA Board of Regents chair. "We know that the future of SFA will be enhanced by becoming a member of the leading university system in the country."
Gantt led the board subcommittee that examined governance, financial and other matters regarding potential affiliation.
Kevin P. Eltife, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, said UT’s regents and leadership deeply admire and respect SFA’s rich tradition and successful history.
"We are honored and enthusiastic about taking the next steps together in this process with confidence that this union will make each of us stronger," he added. "Our proposal to SFA outlined our sincere commitment to helping the university build upon its programs, traditions and culture that have made the university unique for nearly a century, while adding resources to help amplify those strengths and ultimately serve more Texans."
With today’s affiliation announcement, the next step is for SFA and UT System officials to collaborate with legislative leaders on the legislation that will enable this governance change during the upcoming session, SFA’s interim President Dr. Steve Westbrook explained.
"In addition, I will be working closely with system officials over the next few weeks as the search for the next SFA president begins, and I will keep the campus updated on that progress," he added.
SFA will retain its name, brand and culture.