REGENTS APPROVE NAMING OF SUL ROSS’ ZUZU VERK MEMORIAL AMPHITHEATER

 

    The Zuzu Verk Memorial Amphitheater will be the centerpiece of  Sul Ross State University’s outdoor classroom area, following action by the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System. The board met Thursday and Friday (May 18-19) at Texas State University, San Marcos.
    Other Sul Ross agenda items included acknowledgement of gifts and donations, approval of personnel promotions, changes in status and reappointments and approval of motions to increase fees for the Law Enforcement Academy, to change the university mission statement and to add a course to the core curriculum.
    The recently-constructed amphitheater was named in memory of Zuzu Verk, whose disappearance in October 2016 spread campus and community support to the Verk family to national and international attention.
    “Throughout the arduous months of searching for Zuzu, the family, campus, and community earned a reputation for welcoming the Verk family as one of their own and rallying together with continued hope for a positive outcome,” the motion stated.  “This collective support was soon known as ‘The Zuzu Effect’ across the country.  Zuzu Verk’s disappearance prompted the Alpine community to develop stronger ties to the university and in particular to keep watch over the sons and daughters who attend Sul Ross each year.”
    After her body was recovered near Alpine in February 2017, a memorial service was held at the amphitheater, the first university event to be conducted there.
    “Zuzu Verk embodied characteristics that represent the best in all of us. Her legacy and the ‘Zuzu Effect’ remind us to pay it forward and to retain the energy and zest for life that was her trademark,” the motion stated.  “The majestic views from the amphitheater serve as reminder of her exuberance of the outdoors and her love for the Big Bend. This memorial designation will be a perfect tribute to the legacy of Zuzu Verk.”
    Upon approval by the Board of Regents, fees for the Law Enforcement Academy will rise from $1,900 to $3,000, effective Fall 2017. Sul Ross currently conducts one academy per year and this is the only fee paid by the cadets. The additional funds raised through the increase will cover rising costs of conducting the academy, including an increase in training hours and subsequent instruction costs. Training hours will increase from the present 643 hours to 789 beginning Fall 2017.
    Sul Ross received approval to be authorized to change its mission statement to reflect its current stature as a comprehensive Master’s degree granting, multi-campus university, providing on-site and distance education with an international vision and core values that include excellence, ethics and integrity, diversity and inclusiveness, leadership and service. 
    According to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Comprehensive Standard 3.1.1., the mission statement should be current and comprehensive, provide accurate guidance for the institution’s operations, is periodically reviewed and updated, approved by the governing board, and communicated to the institution’s constituencies. The following statements reflect the 2017 Who We Are, Vision, Mission, and Values of the university. 
    Who We Are : Sul Ross State University is a public, comprehensive, Master’s degree granting, multi-campus university, providing on-site and distance education in the Big Bend and the US-Mexico border regions of Texas.
    Vision: Sul Ross State University seeks to be a national and international leader in achieving excellence among universities in the areas of Education, Research, Social Mobility, Service, Affordability, and Shared Governance.
    Mission: Rooted in the distinctive surroundings and history of the Big Bend and the US-Mexico border regions of Texas, Sul Ross State University provides accessible, comprehensive, and life changing education through high quality teaching, research, cultural awareness, creativity, and service.
    Values: Excellence, Leadership and Service, Ethics and Integrity, Personal Connection, Diversity and Inclusiveness, Effective Communication, Growth and Exploration.
    Sul Ross was granted approval to add ANSC 2312 (Current Issues in Agriculture, three semester credit hours) to Component Area VIII:  Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 credit hours) to the Texas Core Curriculum (TCC). The change will take effect Fall 2017. As per Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules, each Texas public institution of higher education may submit one comprehensive request per year to change its TCC. 
    Promotion and tenure approvals include:Assistant professor to associate professor (all effective Sept. 1, 2017): Christopher Estepp, Animal Science; Karrin Ford, Music; Ian Peddie, Languages and Literature with tenure; Jeanne Qvarnstrom, Education; Barbara Tucker, Education, with tenure; David Watson, Political Science and Public Administration.
    Associate professor to professor (effective Sept. 1):  Martin Terry, Biology; Patricia M. Harveson, Natural Resource Management.
    Tenure (effective Sept. 1): Scarlet Clouse, assistant professor, Education; Galen Privett, associate professor, Education.
    Change in status: Robert  Kinucan, from professor and Dean of College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences to Associate Provost for Research, professor and Dean of College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.
    Gifts totaling $471,000 to Sul Ross and the Center for Big Bend Studies were acknowledged. Sul Ross Gifts include:
*$15,000 from William Speary, The Woodlands, to the College Forward Program.
*$5,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers Sanders, Plano, to the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) Last Frontier Weekend (kickoff of the BRI campaign).
*$5,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Bill Kiker, Beaumont, to the BRI Last Frontier Weekend.
*$5,000 from Martha Leonard, Fort Worth, to the BRI Last Frontier Weekend.
*$10,000 from Mr. and Mrs. James King, King Land and Water, LLC, Fort Davis, to the BRI Last Frontier Weekend.
*$10,000 from an anonymous donor to the Center for Big Bend Studies.
*$5,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell, Austin,  to the BRI Last Frontier Weekend.
*$30,000 from John B. Poindexter, Houston, to the Sul Ross State University Foundation.
*$5,000 from Allen Smith, Austin, to the BRI Last Frontier Weekend.
*$50,000 from the Horizon Foundation to the BRI Carnivore Research Program.
*$25,000 from JB Bar Ranch Holdings, LP, John Nau, III, Houston, to the BRI Antler Development of Desert Mule Deer Project.
*$5,000 from Bonnie Korbell, San Antonio, to the BRI Antler Development of Desert Mule Deer Project.
*$20,000 from the Still Water Foundation, Ellen Osborne Ray, Austin,  to the Center for Big Bend Studies Trans Pecos Archaeological Program.
*$6,000 from James Gorman, San Antonio, to the Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences international travel fund.
*$5,000 from Daugherty Ranches LLC, Seattle, WA, to the BRI Stewardship Program.
*$5,000 from Mr. and Mrs Orville Shelburne, Austin, to the Center for Big Bend Studies Shelburne Family Fund.
*$10,000 from the Brown Foundation, Houston, to the Summer Theatre Program.
*$10,000 from Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Beeville, to the BRI Last Frontier Weekend.
*$10,000 from Cameron Duncan, Tesuque, to the Center for Big Bend Studies.
*$150,000 from John Fort III, Houston, to the Center for Big Bend Studies.
*$75,000 from the Brown Foundation, Houston, to the Center for Big Bend Studies.
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