Texas A&M University- Kingsville (TAMUK) held their annual faculty and staff awards and welcome address in Jones Hall Auditorium at 8 a.m on Aug. 21. This event recognized newly employed professors and coaches as well as awarding current faculty through the alumni association and by colleges.
After the awards were announced and new faculty and staff were recognized, Dr. Steven Tallant, the President of TAMUK had a welcome address to deliver to all who were present in regards to the 2014 Fall Semester.
“I hope you all enjoyed your summers,” Tallant said. “I hope you all got away and got refreshed because this is going to be a very busy year, as was last year. For all the new faculty and staff, I truly believe you are coming at a great time for this campus.”
Tallant said TAMUK has had a steady and sustained growth over the last five years. In addition, the spring enrollment has grown forty-eight percent.
“Six years ago our goal was to grow this university,” Tallant said. “And we have grown this university. We don’t have the numbers yet, but it looks pretty confident that we will have 8,200 students in the fall.”
The numbers have increased from fall 2006, where there were approximately 5,600 students enrolled. The growth in the numbers has led to the employment of fifteen new faculty members as well as many returning members.
“We really worked hard in developing the vision of student success,” Dr. Tallant said. “I want to thank everybody for what you’ve done in making a huge change in culture in this university.”
The effort applied by everyone has brought a fifteen percent increase in the retention of students from their freshman year to their sophomore year and that is the measurement that the state and federal government use to hold the university accountable. Tallant expressed his gratitude in this situation, saying that these numbers are almost unheard of.
“The reason that a student chooses to not come back is because of dissatisfaction in the classroom,” Tallant said. “Our numbers are going to be incredibly close to sixty-six percent this year. I want to thank everybody that is working so hard for success.”
In addition, Tallant also announced a branch of the university that will be extending itself past the campus grounds. Plans are in process for an engineering center to be built in Weslaco to help assist with the high demands that the TAMUK Engineering Department is now facing.
“Currently, we are taking more students, keeping more students, and graduating more students than ever before,” Dr. Tallant said. “Wouldn’t you want to send someone here? And with that, I would like to welcome you all back in hopes of a safe, healthy, and productive year.”
Tallant said he hopes all incoming staff, faculty, and students can enjoy the friendly and inclusive town of Kingsville.