Texas A&M-San Antonio, a stand-alone campus since 2009, must wait to become a four-year university after state lawmakers failed to act on an $11 million special item request.
“We were excited that we didn’t get any cuts this year, so that was a big deal,” said Marilu Reyna, the school’s spokeswoman. “We weren’t totally disappointed.”
Reyna said the funds would have included the needed curriculum and faculty ahead of freshmen and sophomores being admitted in the fall of 2014.
“We’re not going to give up. We still plan to pursue it,” Reyna said. “We’re just going to take it with a grain of salt and apply again next legislative session.”
If approved in 2015 by lawmakers, Reyna said freshmen and sophomores would be able to attend classes on campus beginning in the fall of 2016.
Reyna said as it is now, Texas A&M-San Antonio has partnership with Alamo Colleges that would allow for a “seamless transfers” by many of their 60,000 students.
“All of their five schools are like our freshmen and sophomores,” Reyna said.
Tom Shaw, president of the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, said the campus is well funded so it can afford the wait.
“They are well-positioned to re-adjust their timeline which is all they’re really going to have to do,” Shaw said.
Reyna said as it is now, the school already is exceeding its enrollment targets, with 190 per cent growth since 2009.
She said A&M San Antonio is 85 per cent near its goal of 4,300 to 4,500 students this fall.
“So we are growing and basically bursting at the seams,” Reyna said.
She said that is why the university has a second campus at Brooks City-Base.
Construction also is underway on an academic center that will be twice the size of the current Main Building, as well as specially designed building for wounded warriors and veterans.
Shaw said the funding delay will not affect the university’s status as one of the Southside’s crown jewels, or the continued growth and development in the area.
He said, “It’s inevitable that A&M San Antonio will become a four-year institution.”