SFA reveals 4 university systems interested in affiliation

As one of the last remaining unaffiliated universities in Texas, SFA Interim President Steve Westbrook says regents will begin considering an affiliation.
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 9:42 AM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - As one of the last remaining unaffiliated state universities in Texas, SFA Interim President Steve Westbrook says regents will begin considering an affiliation.

Westbrook made the announcement in an email to alumni association members on Thursday.

“Several university systems have made informal inquiries over the years regarding our willingness to evaluate the potential benefit to our university of being a system member,” Westbrook stated. “These inquiries have continued, and our Board of Regents believes the time is right to engage formally with representatives of those systems that have expressed interest to determine if affiliation is beneficial to SFA.”

Chief Marketing Communications Officer Graham Garner says four university systems are “more actively” having conversations with SFA.

The seven university systems in Texas are University of Houston, University of North Texas, University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech and Texas Women’s.

Of these, Chief Marketing Communications Officer Graham Garner says four are “more actively” having conversations with SFA: University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State and Texas Tech.

Westbrook said he has been tasked with developing a process to gather input from the community and alumni to present to the board of regents.

“I want you to know that I believe this work our Board of Regents is undertaking is the right thing to do at the right time,” Westbrook said. “I applaud them for having the courage to engage in what can be both an exciting and sensitive undertaking. Many of us have, for some time, loved the fact we were not affiliated with a system — but we can’t ignore the growing challenges of being a stand-alone institution.”

SFA has developed an online portal for questions and comments from community members, and Garner says that although they won’t be able to respond to all messages, they will read them.

He also mentioned the potential decision to affiliate will be a “swift process.” The board will meet at the end of October, when Garner said they will “receive those reports, make some consideration, and hopefully we’ll know by the end of the semester what our plan will be moving forward.”

The only other unaffiliated university in Texas is Texas Southern.