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Educate to Career ranked 62 Texas colleges and universities based on economic value and their ability to educate students remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying financial crisis. Specific ranking criteria included each institution’s distance learning programs, technology, faculty experience in online instruction, tuition and fees, and projected future employment of graduates.

The rankings break the schools into four tiers. ASU is listed in the top Tier I, which includes schools that have “the systems required to deliver full curriculum online and in-classroom” and also have a minimum of three years of experience in delivering online curriculum. Texas Tech University is also included in Tier I.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ASU began delivering all classes completely online on March 23. All classes for the first summer term that begins on June 1 and the second summer term that begins on July 6 will also be delivered totally online.

Dr. Don TopliffDr. Don Topliff“ASU was among the first in the nation to put programs like nursing, curriculum and instruction, and security studies online, so we have the infrastructure and IT staff to make it happen,” said Dr. Don Topliff, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The amazing thing is how fast we converted conventional classes to online. Our faculty did that in just over a week. They made a rock fly!”

ASU is currently planning for classes to resume on campus for the fall 2020 semester that begins Aug. 24. More details are available at angelo.edu/coronavirus.

“Our faculty and staff are now working just as hard to get us ready for classes on campus this fall,” Topliff said.

Tier II schools in the Educate to Career rankings were designated as having the systems required to deliver curriculum online and in-classroom, but with less faculty experience in delivering online curriculum. Tier II schools include Abilene Christian University and Tarleton State University.

Only two schools were ranked in Tier III – those that strongly emphasize in-classroom education and may not offer their full curriculum online. Texas A&M University is ranked in Tier III.

Ten schools were ranked in Tier IV – those that have limited systems and experience in delivering online curriculum. St. Edward’s University, Baylor University, Rice University and Texas Christian University are all ranked in Tier IV.

Educate to Career has produced its annual college economic value rankings since 2014.

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The first paper, titled “Coronavirus ‘Cures’ and the Courts,” examines the potential liability for people or entities selling fake cures for COVID-19 and proposes federal legislation to reduce future occurrences. It has been included in the forthcoming issue of the William & Mary Business Law Review published by the College of William & Mary School of Law.

The abstract for the 23-page paper states, “The coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected nearly every aspect of American life. Unfortunately, it has also created an opportunity for those willing to exploit vulnerable citizens by selling fake ‘cures.’ This article analyzes a lawsuit against televangelist Jim Bakker for doing just that. This article also calls for increased protection for individuals when a global health pandemic and national emergency have been declared. This article advocates a novel proposal – the enacting of a federal statute making it a felony for an individual to knowingly sell a fraudulent cure for any disease that has been designated a pandemic by the World Health Organization and in which the President of the United States has designated a national emergency.”

The second paper, titled “Life Hangs in the Balance: Weighing Coronavirus Church Closings Against the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act,” examines the constitutionality of forced state closure of churches during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been included in the forthcoming issue of the Northwestern University Law Review Online.

The abstract for the 5,000-word paper states, “On March 29, Houston Pastor Juan Bustamante was warned that he could face fines and imprisonment for continuing to hold in-person church services. The next day he filed an Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus in the Texas Supreme Court. This article evaluates his case, which could have broad implications because – like many states – Texas has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that closely mirrors the federal RFRA. Arguments from both sides are analyzed to determine if such government action limiting religious practice is likely to overcome what the Supreme Court has identified as ‘the most demanding test known to constitutional law.’”

Dr. Michael ConklinDr. Michael ConklinAn ASU faculty member in the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Conklin has published over 50 research papers in various legal journals. In the last 18 months alone, he has accepted offers to publish in the Columbia Journal of Race and the Law, Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Washington University Law Review Online, California Law Review Online (Berkeley), Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, William & Mary Business Law Review, Northwestern Law Review Online, Pepperdine Law Review and San Diego Law Review.

A nominee for the 2019-20 ASU President’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor, Conklin is also a member of the university’s Return to Campus Curriculum Delivery Committee. His ability to engage an audience and present information in an entertaining and concise manner was on display during a recent TedTalk on an unrelated issue.

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The approved degree programs are a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in counseling and a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation (B.C.A.). Both programs will now be submitted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) for final review and approval.

The Psy.D. in counseling will be offered through the Department of Psychology and Sociology within ASU’s Archer College of Health and Human Services. Classes for the new counseling program are slated to begin in the fall 2021 semester.

ASU’s proposal to establish the new Psy.D. in counseling is in response to the overwhelming need for more professional psychologists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of psychologists is projected to grow by 14 percent through 2028, adding thousands of new positions. However, for the seven current psychology counseling doctoral programs in Texas, there were over 800 applicants for only 45 available positions in 2018-19. Graduates of ASU’s new program will be eligible for licensure as a licensed psychologist in Texas and to immediately enter the workforce.

Dr. Don Topliff“Counseling psychology is a real strength here at ASU,” said Dr. Don Topliff, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Adding this practice doctorate will add to that strength and provide highly trained professionals in a critical need area of mental health.”

The B.C.A. degree will be offered through the Department of Management and Marketing within ASU’s Norris-Vincent College of Business, with classes slated to begin in the spring 2021 semester. It will also include two degree tracks, Flight Operations and Aviation Management. Students in the Flight Operations track will attain pilot certifications up to and including:

  • Private pilot single engine
  • Private pilot multi-engine
  • Instrument pilot
  • Commercial pilot
  • Certified flight instructor
  • Instrument instructor

Students in the Aviation Management track will prepare to become airport managers and fixed-base operations operators, as well as for other positions in aviation administration. Both tracks will consist of 120 credit hours of coursework, while the Flight Operations track will also require 250 clock hours of flight instruction and flying time. Two donations totaling $800,000 will fund the purchase of two flight simulators, while all flight instruction will be conducted through a FAA-approved, certified flight school that will provide all equipment, instructors and maintenance.

ASU’s proposal to establish the new B.C.A. is in response to the projected need of nearly 800,000 new pilots over the next 20 years. Several federal studies indicate the Air Force, Marines and Navy are all suffering from a drastic shortage of pilots. Adding to those issues is the impending retirement of up to 60,000 civilian pilots over the next five years. According to a report from the economic modeling company, Emsi, there will be a need for 87 pilots trained every day for the next 20 years to meet the projected need.

“Even though the aviation industry is in a sort of pause right now,” Topliff said, “with the number of pilots that will be required to retire over the next few years, and more products moving by air, this looks to us like an opportunity for ASU to grow in an area underserved in Texas. The program will train pilots and, as importantly, train logistics and aviation managers that will be in demand.”

The two new degree programs would bring ASU’s total degree offerings to 45 bachelor’s degrees, 30 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees.

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A National Search for the Next ASU President

The Board of Regents and Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System (TTU System) invite nominations, inquiries and applications in its national search for the position of President at Angelo State University (ASU).

The President serves as the chief executive officer of ASU and is responsible for the executive management of its operations. The President provides overall leadership in the planning and management of the academic, research, service, fiscal, administrative and operational missions of ASU.

Learn more about the opportunity through the Search Criteria and Position Prospectus .

News Releases and Communication

April 27, 2020 – Search Committee Named for Next Angelo State President

April 27, 2020 – Message from Regent Mickey Long

April 16, 2020 – Message from Chancellor Tedd Mitchell

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Destiny Brown (center) and her classmates meeting with Texas Gov. Gregg Abbot (foreground) on a c...Destiny Brown (center) and her classmates meeting with Texas Gov. Gregg Abbot (foreground) on a class trip to AustinIf the status of the COVID-19 pandemic permits, Brown will spend the upcoming fall semester working as an intern for a member of the U.S. Congress. Each previous year, ASU interns had worked in the office of Congressman Michael Conaway. But with Conaway’s pending retirement, the congressmember Brown will intern with will be decided at a later date.

During her internship, Brown will live at the Texas Tech House with other interns from Texas Tech University and will receive an $8,000 stipend to help defray the costs of living in Washington, D.C. She will also earn six ASU credit hours in political science.

Destiny BrownDestiny Brown“I am blessed to have this opportunity,” Brown said. “From this experience, I hope to gain more knowledge on the innerworkings of Congress. I feel like this will better prepare me for the world I will enter as an influencer in law. I stand on the principles of racial and gender equality and want to know how these are being expressed in legislation.”

“I also feel like this opportunity will shape me as a person in learning how to better interact with diverse people and opinions,” she added. “Knowing how to work with different perspectives will elevate my communication and leadership skills. It is also a matter of developing connections that may open doors for the future. This experience is an opportunity to learn and grow, and I cannot wait to start.”

A regular on the ASU Dean’s List, Brown holds a 3.78 grade point average and is also active outside the classroom. She conducts research on San Angelo’s African-America community through the ASU West Texas Collection, helping chronicle the history of that community in the region. She has also worked to increase campus involvement with local minority communities.

Also president of ASU’s student chapter of the NAACP, Brown has held a variety of leadership positions in ASU’s Sigma Kappa sorority and plays for the Rambelle Rugby club team.

Launched in 2013, the ASU Government and Public Service Internship Program is open to ASU upperclassmen majoring in political science. It is designed to help participating students develop networking skills and build knowledge of public policy.

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