Texas A&M University-Kingsville administrators held their annual Institutional Effectiveness Presentations meeting to report on current progress in individual departments and determine what resources they still need going into the next school year.
The IEP meeting was held from 8:20 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. on Feb. 17 and presentations ranged from 20 to 30 minutes each.
Improvements were reported in multiple areas, including student retention, expanding academic programs and increasing campus security.
“Students are taking more credit hours and getting out in time, so we’re doing a better job at teaching and getting students out,” said President Dr. Steven Tallant.
Rex Gandy, the vice president for academic affairs, said first-year retention is up 63.5 percent from 55 percent a few years ago and 6-year graduate rates are up 35.7 percent from 25.1 percent four yeas ago.
The university has also added a criminal justice degree, a criminology master’s degree, a music performance master’s, a cultural studies master’s and a PhD in engineering. Research expenditures have also increased, Gandy said.
“Our objectives for 2016 are to increase the number of tenured faculty, give faculty a raise, support engineering growth, continue improvement in student academic success and receive SAC reaffirmation,” Gandy said.
Residence hall occupancy is 2,135 this year, and there has been a steady increase in the number of international students, from 480 in Fall 2012 to 809 in Fall 2013, said Kirsten Compary, dean of students.
Five University Police Department officers have been trained in rapid response, received their mental health certification, and have completed their sexual assault and family violence investigators training.
“We’ve also added 13 security cameras across campus, bringing monitored cameras to 200-plus,” Compary said.
Requests were made at the meeting for additional security equipment, more campus lighting, an app to replace the Blue Light phones, and student services, including a student food bank, an expansion of the Blue and Gold Express Shuttle services, and upgraded wi-fi.
Each department presented resource requests for the administration to consider going forward.