LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) — The following is a news release from Texas Tech University:
Today (June 8), Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 1522, officially designating Midwestern State University (MSU Texas) as a member institution of the Texas Tech University System (TTU System), effective Sept. 1, 2021. The bill was authored by state Rep. James Frank and sponsored by state Sen. Drew Springer.
“Today marks another historic milestone for Midwestern State University as we prepare to officially become the fifth member institution of the Texas Tech University System,” said MSU Texas Board Chairman Caven Crosnoe. “We are grateful for the work of all those who have served this great university through the years to lead MSU Texas to its current level of recognition and excellence.
“Since the university’s inception as a junior college, courageous leaders with bold vision have led the way to our distinguished place among public institutions of higher education in Texas. In September, this board will transfer leadership to the TTU System board with the full confidence that Midwestern State University will continue to thrive as it fulfills its mission to educate future leaders for our region and state,” he added.
MSU Texas will join the TTU System as its fifth component university in its 25-year history. Current component institutions of the TTU System include Texas Tech University (charter member), Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (charter member), Angelo State University (joined in 2007) and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (established in 2013).
“This is a great day for the Texas Tech University System, and I am ecstatic to welcome the entire MSU Texas family to the TTU System,” said Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., chancellor of the TTU System. “We have thoroughly enjoyed developing a relationship with MSU Texas, and I want to thank President Suzanne Shipley and Chairman Caven Crosnoe for their leadership, guidance and vision to help make this partnership a reality. MSU Texas is a perfect cultural fit among our component institutions. Thank you to Gov. Abbott, Rep. Frank, Sen. Springer and the Texas Legislature for your commitment to making this partnership a reality.”
MSU Texas first announced its intentions to begin the exploration of joining the TTU System on Feb. 14, 2020. Over the course of early 2020, university leadership gathered input and heard public comments from students, faculty, staff and stakeholders. Based on overwhelming positive feedback, officials moved forward in August 2020 with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between MSU Texas and the TTU System.
“What an incredible journey these past 15 months have been since our announcement to explore the possibility of joining the Texas Tech University System,” Shipley said. “Today’s action positions MSU Texas to build upon our established reputation and better serve the needs of a growing, vibrant campus well prepared for an ambitious future.”
Upon the finalization of the MOU, local legislators introduced bills to the 87thTexas Legislature seeking approval of MSU Texas’ desired membership within the TTU System.
“There are many individuals to thank for their support to make this day a reality. Among those are Rep. James Frank and Sen. Drew Springer, along with the incredible support of TTU System Chancellor Tedd Mitchell and his leadership team. We are especially grateful for the bold vision of the MSU Texas Board of Regents, our supportive faculty, staff and students, and the very proud Midwestern State alumni,” said Shipley. “As MSU Texas prepares to celebrate its centennial year in 2022, we look forward to our second century of serving this region.”
The TTU System Administration will work closely in the coming months with MSU Texas to formalize the partnership, as MSU Texas will officially become a member institution of the TTU System at the start of the fiscal year 2022.
“The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents is excited to bring Midwestern State University aboard as our fifth member institution,” said J. Michael Lewis, chairman of the TTU System Board of Regents. “MSU Texas has a sterling reputation in our state and will bring great value to our system and universities. As a native of Olney and having grown up in North Texas, I especially understand and value this new relationship. I have enjoyed working closely with MSU Texas Chairman Caven Crosnoe, who has exemplified remarkable leadership throughout this partnership-building process.”
Statements from Elected Officials
Rep. James Frank (District 69)
“I’m confident that aligning with the Texas Tech University System will allow Midwestern State University to attract more students, invest in important programs and make an even bigger impact on future generations of Texans. We have an outstanding school that has served its students and our community well since its founding in 1922, and I am optimistic that this change will help both MSU Texas and the Wichita Falls area grow.”
Sen. Drew Springer (District 30)
“Midwestern State University will be a great addition to the Texas Tech University System. Together they can continue to carry out MSU Texas’ academic mission of cultivating dynamic graduates that are ready to meet the needs of Texas today and tomorrow. I look forward to the future of MSU Texas as a component university of the TTU System. I am appreciative of Governor Abbott signing House Bill 1522 into law and his commitment to higher education.”
Statements from Community Leaders
Stephen Santellana, Wichita Falls Mayor
“As a proud graduate of Midwestern State University (MSU Texas), I have been able to see the transformation and growth of the university. The community is blessed to see the results of strong leadership and providing a quality education to so many students. With that being said, I am now excited to see the additional growth and prosperity for our local university by being part of the Texas Tech University System.”
Henry Florsheim, President & CEO for the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce
“This partnership will pay huge dividends for both the university and for Wichita Falls. The name recognition that comes with being part of the Texas Tech family will put us on the map, and the resources the system can bring will help us become a stronger university.”
About Midwestern State University
MSU Texas, located in Wichita Falls, Texas, is known for its strong programs in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences as well as accredited professional programs in mechanical engineering, social work, nursing, radiologic science, respiratory care, athletic training and business, among others. MSU Texas is one of 38 public institutions of higher education in Texas to offer undergraduate and graduate programs and the only Texas university to become a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). Students at MSU Texas choose from more than 60 majors and several pre-professional programs, are active in more than 100 student organizations and bring a spirit of competition to 13 NCAA Division II athletic programs.
In 2018, a student learning center opened in Flower Mound, Texas, offering online, upper-level courses in teacher education, respiratory care, radiology and nursing, along with adult completion programs with concentrations in areas such as criminal justice, human services and business, among others. Graduate-level offerings include an MBA with an energy management concentration and teacher education. The learning center is attractive to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue a four-year degree.
MSU Texas Historical Timeline:
- 1922 – Founded as Wichita Falls Junior College, only the second municipal junior college in Texas at the time.
- 1937 – Renamed Hardin Junior College in honor of Mr. and Mrs. John Hardin. Acquired a new, 40-acre campus on the south side of town. Rising above the pastures and wheat fields was the recently finished Hardin Building, an impressive Spanish colonial structure that was presided over by a lofty bell tower, which remains today as the university’s administration facility.
- 1946 – The senior college division was added, and accordingly, the name was altered to Hardin College.
- 1948 – The university became a member of the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
- 1950 – The name changed to Midwestern University, with the junior division remaining Hardin Junior College.
- 1959 – The university added a graduate school.
- 1961 – Action of the 56th Texas Legislature placed the university as a part of the Texas Colleges and Universities System and the junior college division was dissolved.
- 1975 – The Texas Legislature changed the university’s name to Midwestern State University.
About the Texas Tech University System
Established in 1996 and headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the TTU System is a $2 billion higher education enterprise focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and community outreach. Consisting of four universities – Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso – the TTU System collectively has approximately 57,000 students, 21 academic locations in 18 cities (16 in Texas, 2 internationally), more than 300,000 alumni and an endowment valued at over $1.3 billion.
(News release from Texas Tech University)