Board extends President's contract

Email this article 01/21/2014

After meeting in executive session for the president’s evaluation, the board of trustees unanimously voted to extend Dr. Hector Gonzales’ contract for two years during the regular meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Board of Trustees President, Rodolfo R. Flores said, “The board is very happy with the work that Dr. Gonzales has done and I’m sure that he will continue to do a good job.”

SWTJC Vice-President of Student Services, Blaine Bennett reported enrollment was down 7% from last spring.

According to Bennett, “We think it is a myriad of things including good economies causing lower enrollment numbers.”

“There is no one thing that we can say is the cause, there has been much discussion on adjusting class schedules by offering more afternoon and evening classes to accommodate those working individuals,” Bennett added.

Bennett stated the unofficial enrollment number is 5,237 as of Wednesday (Jan. 15), with approximately 320 students to be deregistered due to payment issues. “We are working diligently to save as many of those students as possible,” said Bennett.

In other action, the board approved to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Knippa Independent School District, which would make Knippa High School an Early College High School for the 2014-2015 school year.

As an early college high school, Knippa High School will be able to offer students an opportunity to earn enough college credits to receive an associate’s degree before graduating from high school.

Knippa ISD Superintendent, Jeff Cottrill said “We are looking at this as an opportunity to assist our students with the academic rigor, but most importantly with the burden of rising tuition.”

According to Cottrill, the KISD will absorb tuition cost for their students.

In addition, the board approved the scope of construction projects in Eagle Pass, Crystal City and Uvalde for the total of $10 million.

In Crystal City, one scenario would add a library facility, and also accept a building from the city of Crystal City and use it to house a technical program such as welding and possibly a second program. In addition, the purchase of an adjacent building to be used as a classroom for a technical program is also being investigated.

The Eagle Pass project includes adding fifteen classrooms, eight faculty offices, a conference room, a small snack area and enlarging the bookstore along with the library.  Dr. Gonzales stated, “This project will accommodate the future growth of the Eagle Pass campus for next 5-8 years.”

In Uvalde, the project would add an elevator to the library in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Other phases of the project would include accelerating the modifications to the dorms in Hubbard Hall and upgrading the cafeteria in the Matthews Student Center.  Dr. Gonzales added, “SWTJC is committed to continue improving, enhancing, and expanding its facilities to promote the success of our students within our entire regional community.”

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