SFA begins discussions on joining the university system

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In a slide presentation, four university systems are listed as having expressed interest in adding SFA to their institution.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University, one of two remaining unaffiliated universities, may decide to join one of the state’s university systems later this fall.

SFA Acting President Steve Westbrook said in a letter to faculty and staff that the university’s board of trustees will soon be contacting systems representatives who have already expressed interest.

He said the regents will work to determine whether joining a scheme will benefit the SFA before launching the search for a permanent president.

“As you may know, the SFA is not affiliated with any of the seven university systems in Texas. We are one of two remaining unaffiliated universities, the other being Texas Southern University,” Westbrook said in the letter. “Several university systems have made informal requests over the years regarding our willingness to assess the potential benefits to our university of being a member of the system.”

The issue was first presented at the university’s recent fall meeting.

In a slide presentation, four university systems are listed as having expressed interest in adding SFA to their institution: Texas A&M University System, Texas State University System, Texas Tech University System, and University of Texas System.

Westbrook said in his letter that he was asked to develop an organized and comprehensive process to gather feedback from the community and SFA alumni before making a decision.

The goal is to have a decision from the board of directors by the end of the fall semester. The state legislature will ultimately have to approve the membership, and the session will begin next January.

He added that the timing of the presidential search is based on the timing and results of the system membership evaluation.

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