WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The discussion continues among the MSU Texas Board of Regent as they take steps forward to a possible merger with the Texas Tech University System.
At Thursday’s MSU’s Board of Regents virtual meeting, the university’s governing body discussed the pros and cons of accepting a formal invitation to consider becoming the fifth member of the Texas Tech University System.
“Higher education has changed so much, and it is becoming so competitive and I think that we just need to do the right thing for Midwestern to give them that same competitive edge,” MSU Regent Dr. Shelley Sweatt said.
The university was asked by Texas Tech to join in February since then much of the feedback from the community has been great but concerns regarding the identity of the university have arisen.
“Will our name change? Which is no. Will our tuition go up? No. But there will be policy changes,” MSU Texas President Dr. Suzanne Shipley said. “We’ll still be the mustangs there is no change in that I am happy to say.”
“As of now and the information I’ve been told and my position I would not be in favor of changing the name of the university,” MSU Regent Guy ‘Tony’ Fidelie said.
Shipley said she believes in addition to the concerns regarding identity, many are concerned about money and affordability.
“And will the money that donors have given us still be given out for the things they gave it for and that answer is yes,” Shipley said.
Shipley said the biggest change though will be that there will not be a local board.
“We have had the privilege of having people from this community determine our future, our identity, etc,” Shipley said. “This would all be determined by a board that oversees Texas Tech, Angelo State, us and two medical systems.”
“We have to understand there will be negatives, we can’t anticipate what in fact the future board may or may not do positively and negatively,” MSU Regent Shawn Hessing said.
Shipley was authorized to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the TTC system, which determines who has the power to do certain things between the two institutions.
Shipley and the board of regents want to ensure MSU is strong for the future and believe this will help make that happen.
The regents are still just at the beginning stages of this process, in fact, Dr. Shipley said even if the regents accept the invitation, the process will not be done until another year from August or September.