Texas Tech students are back in full swing as school just started back two weeks ago.
2003 proved challenging for Tech as the university experienced major growth in the student body, while dealing with less money from the legislature. This year, the university will continue to focus on managing quality growth and finding the formula funding to support it.
NewsChannel 11 sat down with Chancellor Dr. David Smith to take a look at 2004. Dr. David Smith says that Tech may have to raise the cost of an education again in 2004, to balance their incredible growth.
"It's going to depend a lot on faculty, the number of faculty we're required to have in the classrooms with the growing numbers of student enrollment. This quality issue ultimately is about us having sufficient faculty in the classrooms and laboratories," says Smith.
He also says without the legislature's help, Tech is forced to either stop growth or increase tuition and fees.
"That's something were going to have to balance."
"I think you're going to see another major push this year in terms of academic buildings, particularly in the area of business, engineering, some of the work we need to do in the honors college."
"So, I'm afraid we aren't out of the construction mode, but it's going to be very focused in the way of academics and research."
"I think we have an incredible array of student athletes here, and you can see the performance particularly in the classroom, and I think you'll continue to see us aspire to be at the top of the Big XII in terms of graduation rates at Texas Tech. I think there is still an opportunity for us to improve a few facilities. We have great coaches and I think we are very proud of what our student athletes are doing at Texas Tech."
Chancellor Smith says Tech will continue to focus on their role in the local economy and their role in academics across the state.
"How fast can Tech grow, and can it respond to the states needs for more students to go to higher education."
"Thirdly, will we have a partner in the legislature to pay for growth?"
Smith says our local legislators have been very supportive of Tech's needs and that Tech's consistent growth is a good thing. It just takes time for the university as a whole to adjust.