Category Archives: University News

PROFESSOR PUBLISHES BOOK ON NIXON’S EARLY WHITE HOUSE TAPES

A new study on President Nixon’s eventful first term will hit the shelves this Tuesday. 
 
Texas A&M University-Central Texas professor Dr. Luke Nichter and Vanity Fair contributing editor Douglas Brinkley examined almost 3,700 hours of recorded conversations between Nixon and his closest advisers. The Nixon Tapes: 1972-1972 reveals the inner workings of the oval office during a critical period often overshadowed by the Watergate scandal. 
 
While Nixon is often portrayed as a villain in history, Nichter says the tapes reveal both the good and bad. 
 
“He was just as bad as his worst critics say and just as good as his best defenders say,” Nichter said. 
 
Some of Nixon’s statements seem to expose a great deal of prejudice against groups such as such as women, gays and Jews. However, Nichter notes that Nixon criticized everyone.
 
“He had equal scorn for all types of people,” Nichter said. 
 
If anything, Nichter believes Nixon’s key flaws were his mistrust of opponents and black-and-white views. 
 
“He took an unusually healthy interest in his rivals,” Nichter said. “He saw them more as enemies.”
 
For more information on Nichter’s book and research, visit www.nixontapes.org

Dr. Garner Named Founding Dean of the College of Business Administration

Galveston, TX — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents appointed Dr. Larry Garner as the founding Dean of the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University-Central Texas during the board meeting held today in Galveston. This appointment follows a competitive national search process and a formal recommendation by the search committee. 

Dr. Garner earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, his MS in Human Resources Management from Houston Baptist University, and his BS in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. He has 30 years of experience in higher education including serving as Director of Organizational Learning at Concordia University and Director and Interim Dean for the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University-Central Texas. Larry is also serving as Interim Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences as the College conducts their own national search for a new Dean. 

Dr. Garner is active in several professional organizations including  the Federation of Business Disciplines where he served as President (2012-2013), General Program Chair (2011-2012) and Vice President (2010-2012), and the Southwest Academy of Management where he served as President (2008-2009).  Dr. Garner has a distinguished career in the United States Air Force where he served as a fighter pilot, flight instructor and  Chief of Academic Training.

A&M-Central Texas Phi Alpha Chapter Wins National Service Award Fifth Year in a Row

Phi Alpha, Pi Rho Chapter, from Texas A&M University-Central Texas has received its fifth National Service Award for their dedication and commitment to strengthening the bond between its chapter members, the surrounding community and the University.

One of the most successful service activities the organization had this past year was hosting the largest-ever holiday party for senior citizens living at Sunshine House in Copperas Cove. This is a project Phi Alpha has conducted every year for the past twelve years, and this year over 120 gifts were collected and distributed. During the party the students and advisor played bingo with the residents, assisted those with disabilities and provided bingo prizes. They also served lunch for the seniors and visited with them while they were eating. Lastly, “Santa Claus” met with every resident of the housing development and provided them with a present and a bag of goodies—including treats for the seniors with pets. 

Additionally, chapter members conducted a School Supply Drive by placing donation boxes throughout the A&M-Central Texas campus, and received a donation from the Scott and White Hospice Thrift Store. Over $1,000 worth of school supplies were collected and distributed to East Ward Elementary School, located in the most economically depressed area of Killeen. The supplies were used by students whose families could not afford them, and for students whose families have had to take-up temporary lodging at the local domestic violence shelter, which is also located in that school’s service area.

Members also volunteered with the Killeen’s annual homeless count, collected books for Heritage House (the local hospice care center), and assisted in creating the Gay-Straight Warrior Alliance at A&M-Central Texas. Since 2008, the group has also provided assistance to the Scott & White Hospice Thrift Shop in Belton through bake sale fundraisers, reorganizing the store to be more customer friendly, volunteering at the store and even donating their own items to be sold. 

“We are very pleased that the Pi Rho Chapter of Phi Alpha has had another exciting, fulfilling year of activities, all of this in spite of the inordinately busy schedules of all the student members and the faculty representative,” said Faculty Advisor and Social Work Professor, Dr. Claudia Rappaport. “This is a testimonial to their dedication to the ideas and values of the Phi Alpha organization. I am deeply honored to be the faculty liaison for such a dedicated group of students.”

Phi Alpha is an organization comprised of a faculty advisor, honorary faculty, community members, bachelor of social work students, as well as alumni that come together to serve the needs of the University and community. The goal of Phi Alpha is to foster an environment of academic achievement, while improving and furthering the goals of social work in the community, state, nation, and world. Specifically, Phi Alpha Students at A&M-Central Texas learn how to recognize needs and raise awareness, support, and funds for those needs. Members gain continuing education opportunities and valuable experiences that help them excel in the social work profession.

Each year, Phi Alpha raises the bar with their extraordinary dedication and commitment to community service and campus involvement. Congratulations to the Phi Alpha Honor Society on winning yet another National Service Award to add to your growing collection!

A&M-CENTRAL TEXAS TO HOST VETERANS APPRECIATION DAY AND BUSINESS EXPO

The Veterans Affairs Center at Texas A&M University-Central Texas will be hosting a Veterans Appreciation Day and Business Expo on Thursday, November 7th from 10:00am-2:00pm, in Founder’s Hall at the University’s main campus.  

This recognition and celebration of the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces will include information from Education Benefits, Health Care Services, Disability Compensation, Employment Services, Home and Land Loans, Counseling Services, Legal Services and more. Veterans should bring DD 214, VA Health Care ID Card, and any recent VA disability correspondence.

The Veterans Affairs Center staff at A&M-Central Texas assists both currently enrolled and prospective students with using their GI Bill benefits and providing information on other available education and employment related resources. As part of the VA’s VetSuccess on Campus initiative, a trained VA counselor is also on staff to assist Veterans, family members and active duty service members with making a smooth transition to college life and successfully completing their educational journey.

 “Texas A&M University-Central Texas has always had a strong commitment to the Central Texas community and success of our nations Veteran, and this is just another way for us to give back to a community that has provide us with a tremendous amount of support,” said Clifton Jones, Director, Student Financial Assistance & Veterans Affairs. “This is a great opportunity for students and community members to obtain valuable information on a variety of Veteran related benefits and services available in Central Texas.

For more information on the A&M-Central Texas Veterans Appreciation Day and Business Expo, visit www.tamuct.edu/VA or visit the Ted and Diane Connell Veterans Affairs Center located in Suite 221 in Founder’s Hall—1001 Leadership Place, Killeen, TX 76549.

A&M-CENTRAL TEXAS RECEIVES QUALITY MATTERS “MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR STUDENTS” AWARD

Texas A&M University-Central Texas was honored to receive the 2013 “Making a Difference for Students” award from the Quality Matters (QM) Program at their annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The University was recognized for its achievement in implementing QM standards, while reinventing the campus as a new member of The Texas A&M University System, providing online courses for all students.

The award criteria included the sustainability of an initiative, evidence of impact, and the significance of impact for students. A&M-Central Texas was recognized for online courses, programs, and the flexible learning environments that are available—designed and delivered to meet the needs of an adult student population, not traditionally served by higher education institutions. The University described how the initiative is being maintained and enhanced for continued impact on student outcomes; provided substantive evidence on how the initiative has impacted student outcomes; and has documented and/or demonstrated the significance of the achievements for students. This was done through the implementation and completion of online training, online course design, research grants, surveys, and student feedback.

“This award is a proud moment for the online learning team at A&M-Central Texas, but more importantly is a testimony to the University’s dedication to providing flexible, rigorous, and high quality learning experiences,” said Yakut Gazi, former Director of Distributed Learning and Instructional Technology at A&M-Central Texas, now serving as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Engineering Remote Education at Texas A&M University.

“The complex planning and implementation efforts of the online teaching and learning activities at A&M-Central Texas began in the Fall of 2010 when the University made a commitment to Quality Matters Programming, course design, and faculty development.” Dr. Tracy Teaff, the University’s Chief Liaison Officer continued by saying, “At a time when such a commitment was rare in higher education, Dr. Gazi and her staff were determined to develop online and web-supported programming, using best practices. This award signals not only the fruits of labor, but of building a program in the right way.”

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Accepting the award on behalf of A&M-Central Texas was (from left to right) Brenda Boyd, Director of Professional Development and Consulting for Quality Matters; Andria Schwegler, Assistant Professor and Online Coordinator for the College of Education; Barb Altman, Assistant Professor and Online Coordinator for the College of Business; Lisa Bunkowski, Assistant Professor and Online Coordinator for the College of Art and Sciences; Martin Moreno, Instructional Designer; and (not pictured) Yakut Gazi, former Director of Distributed Learning and Instructional Technology.

The Quality Matters (QM) Program is an international private, non-profit, membership-supported organization that upholds a national benchmark for online course design, with a mission to promote and improve the quality of online education and student learning. This award recognizes the institutions or groups that exemplify QM’s focus on student learning through the implementation of QM standards, practices, and processes that have demonstrated impact on student success. The QM Program works to support quality assurance efforts to over 650 academic institutions and K-12 schools in their online courses and content.

A&M-Central Texas Host Annual Military History Symposium

Texas A&M University-Central Texas will host the annual Central Texas Military History Symposium on Saturday, October 5th. Registration begins at 9:00a.m. and will consist of a morning roundtable session, keynote address and luncheon, followed by a presentation of scholarly papers in the afternoon.

The keynote address will be presented by Dr. Dennis Showalter, Professor of History at Colorado College. Dr. Showalter is a past president of the Society for Military History and taught at the United States Military Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, and the Marine Corps University. He serves as an advisory fellow of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas. His numerous books include, “Tannenburg: Clash of Empires,” “1914,” “The Wars of Frederick the Great,” and most recently, “Armor and Blood: The Battle for Kursk.” 

The symposium will be held in the Bernie Beck Lecture Hall, located in Founder’s Hall, on the A&M-Central Texas campus. Lunch will be provided for those who register by Friday, October 4th. For more information or to register, visit http://www.tamuct.edu/departments/history/registration.php

The Central Texas Military Symposium is hosted by Texas A&M University-Central Texas Department of Humanities and the University of North Texas Military History Center.

A&M-Central Texas Awarded 2014 Military Friendly Schools Designation

Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named Texas A&M University-Central Texas to the coveted Military Friendly Schools® list. The 2014 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows A&M-Central Texas’ commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, Vice President at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran. “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.” Complete survey methodology is available at militaryfriendlyschools.com/Article/methodology-press-kit.

The Military Friendly Schools® media and website, found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served.

“Serving the military-related student is one of our highest priorities at Texas A&M University-Central Texas,” said Dr. Marc A. Nigliazzo, President of A&M-Central Texas. “Our partnership with Fort Hood makes it imperative that we provide not simply adequate, but truly exceptional support for military service members and their families.”

Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding. The survey results that comprise the 2014 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country. A full list of board members can be found at http://militaryfriendlyschools.com/board.

A full story and detailed list of 2014 Military Friendly Schools® will be highlighted in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools®, distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October.

A&M-Central Texas Announces Solar Energy Collaboration

John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, and Dr. Marc Nigliazzo, President of Texas A&M University-Central Texas, today announced a collaborative partnership with the Center for Solar Energy to evaluate, develop and test practical and emergent technologies relating to renewable energy and photovoltaic solar technologies.

“The collaboration between A&M-Central Texas and the Center for Solar Energy is truly a market-changing partnership and will make A&M-Central Texas the premier destination for the study and advancement of solar energy,” Sharp said.

A&M-Central Texas is developing the project with PPA Partners, a leading solar energy company headquartered in Morgan Hill, California. PPA Partners has a similar venture at Arizona Western College in Yuma. The new Center for Solar Energy in collaboration with A&M-Central Texas will be an incubation program to develop early-stage technologies in solar power with the goal of attracting the interest of capital investors and bringing those technologies to the marketplace.

When completed, the nearly $600 million center will cover up to 800 acres in Bell County and house an advanced renewable power generation system that will power the A&M-Central Texas campus. 

The system will host the largest assortment of photovoltaic technologies in the world and serve as a true test site for leading-edge technologies, leading to thousands of clean energy jobs in Central Texas. As part of the project, A&M-Central Texas will be adding new curriculum offerings to encourage research and education in renewable energy, while enhancing business and marketing programs. The college will expand those offerings as the field grows.

“The Center for Solar Energy will not only accelerate research and curriculum development at A&M-Central Texas, it will extend collaborative opportunities across an educational spectrum to universities and agencies within The Texas A&M University System, as well as to our regional community college partners and school districts,” said Nigliazzo.

The Center will serve as an incubator to bring emerging technologies from concept to market within two years through a well-rounded program that includes training, engineering, demonstration and manufacturing support. Participants will enter the program through an awarded scholarship, venture capital partner or advisory board recommendation.

“Technological innovation is the cornerstone of the Center’s programs, and it will use the 50MW solar field to create a baseline of data for grading new and existing technologies, while also providing a basis for research. Developers of promising early stage technologies will thus be attracted to Central Texas for training, support, and validation,” said Bruce Mercy, executive director of the Center for Solar Energy.

New Transcript and Diploma Information

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC) announced yesterday that Texas A&M University-Central Texas (TAMUCT) is an accredited member of SACS/COC, retroactive to January 1, 2013. As part of our transition from Tarleton State University, a new TAMUCT diploma is being designed and will be available in late July.

Starting with the August 2013 Commencement, students will receive a TAMUCT transcript and diploma. Since accreditation is retroactive to January 1, 2013, Spring 2013 graduates may also receive a TAMUCT transcript and diploma. The Office of the Registrar will contact Spring 2013 graduates and provide instructions on how to request these documents. The first diploma will be provided free of charge.

TAMUCT will continue to provide Tarleton State University paper transcripts and diplomas for students enrolled from Fall 2009-Fall 2012 until the TAMUCT Student Information System (BANNER) is fully separated from Tarleton. Starting Fall 2014, TAMUCT will only print TAMUCT transcripts and diplomas. Work completed during the 2009-2012 period will reflect on the TAMUCT transcript as transfer credit and work completed 2013-forward will reflect as institutional credit. At that time, any student who attended Tarleton-Central Texas, Summer 2009 and prior, must request their transcripts from Tarleton State University.

Please contact the Office of the Registrar (dawn.khoury@ct.tamus.edu) if you have additional questions about this transition.

A&M-Central Texas Receives Separate Accreditation

Killeen, Texas — The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC) announced today that Texas A&M University-Central Texas has officially been awarded “accredited membership” status and is an accredited member of the COC, retroactive to January 1, 2013.

“This is an exceptional accomplishment for an institution barely four years old,” said Dr. Marc A. Nigliazzo, the University’s Inaugural President. “It is, as well, a testament to the quality of faculty and staff who have come together to build a university that will serve Central Texas students for decades to come.”

A&M-Central Texas became a stand-alone university on May 27, 2009 as a member of The Texas A&M University System. Since that time, SACS/COC has recognized A&M-Central Texas as an entity of its parent university, Tarleton State University, and all degrees awarded have been accredited. Separate accreditation will allow the University to diversify and expand its program and course offerings, and address the regional upper-level education needs.

A&M-Central Texas is a military friendly, upper-level institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees for life’s next chapter. The student population at A&M-Central Texas is the most broadly diverse within The Texas A&M University System and is growing, currently serving over 2,400 students. Classes are offered at several convenient sites, including Fort Hood in order to accommodate both full-time and part-time students and to serve the entire Central Texas area. The University provides a wide range of flexible course schedules, including online, night, and weekend classes.

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