Monday, November 10, 2008

Student Regent Catch up:

Whoa, I have a lot to "blog" about!

First off, an apology for the long delay in updates. I've been keeping myself busy but I'm glad to be blogging again.

Since I last blogged:
-Met Sandra Day O'Connor at Induction Ceremony for the Texas Women's Hall of Fame (Oct. )
-Had a luncheon with Mayor Mark Burroughs on Election Day (Nov. 4th)
-Attended and spoke up in two board meetings (Aug. 22nd, Nov. 7th)
-Attended to Finance Committee Meetings (Aug. and Oct.)
-Met with students about ethical issues in biology classes (Aug.)
-Follow up meetings were held via email
-Met with students about ecological issues regarding two historic trees being removed (Oct.)
-Follow up meetings held via email
-Met with students about recycling on campus (Oct.)
-Met with SGA President of Houston campus for tour (Nov. 7th in Houston)
-Met with SGA Prez and Exec Board for Meeting (Nov. 7th)

Student Regent To-Do this week:
-Starring in the first ever Student Regent video tomorrow at 3pm
-Meeting with Students about having a Day Care on campus
-Compiling a student regent report on the student perspectives to Administrative Staff
-Presenting Student Regent report to Board of Regents in Feb. at my last Board meeting!

Talk to me
Have an issue you want in the report or need an answer on why certain rules/policies/fees are? Send me an email at: or leave a comment on the blog to generate discussion amongst other students.

Want to apply to be the next TWU Student Regent?
It's a pleasure to serve for you all on the board of regents and my term is nearing an end in June 2009. If you are interested in applying for the student regent position please email Elyze Davis, TWU Denton SGA President, at: for an application.

In other news, I leave this Friday (11/14/2008) for Haiti. I will return briefly Dec. 14th, and leave for Botswana, Africa Dec. 15th. I will be back in the states Jan. 15th and begin Nursing school in Houston Jan. 20th. Committee meeting will follow, and then the student regent report in the last meeting in Feb.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Patience is a Virtue

Feel like you did a lot of waiting today?

Students wait in line for some tasty Chick-fil-A sandwiches and waffle fries.

A moment of philosophy if you will.

Having been on campus in Denton all summer, I somehow forgot how full the campus usually is! Today at the library I had to actually search for a computer to use. Then I waited behind a girl who was printing out one of those long power points that accompany a lecture, and of course I only had to print out 2 pages. I started to sense my own frustration growing, but realized that this was nothing new at all. In college we learn to wait like we've never waited before.

Students wait in line to print out documents for classes in the Blagg-Huey Library.

I've always felt like my college experience was about waiting. I started out waiting to even go. My first semester out of high school, I worked as a demo-lady at Sam's Club instead of going to school. I waited, worked hard and saved my money. I thought my intense waiting would be done once I got to college--wrong. You wait for everything in college. Sometimes it's your fault, other times it's just standard procedure. I waited until I was nearly a junior to decide on a major. I waited till the last minute many times to complete assignments or readings. I wait in the MCL parking lot for people to walk out to their cars so that I can get good parking spot. We all wait for our paper work to be processed for financial aid, for acceptance into campus groups, for classes to start and end. I, along with many other hopeful students am waiting till November to find out if I am accepted into TWU's College of Nursing.

Students wait in the TWU book store to check out their books for Fall 2008 classes.

It occurred to me today that college truly is a time to wait. A time where we finalize what we are going to do in the world, and who we become as people. We wait it out for 4 years or more until that fine day where we walk that stage and receive that long-awaited diploma in our hands.

But I feel that I might have missed the bigger picture on this, because waiting implies that nothing substantial is happening to us in the meantime. As a transfer and commuter student I felt I was waiting enough already in traffic to come to school, so why get involved on campus more than coming to class and going home? It's simple: We all have passions, values, and talents now--why are we waiting until graduation to use them? I chose to get involved on campus, to join a health education group and start Face AIDS.
What happens with how you spend your time now, will affect who you become once you get your diploma. Please don't wait to get involved during your stay here at TWU. If anything, college is a lesson in patience. Yes, the best is yet to come once we graduate and begin our careers. But for now, while we wait patiently, we can still be active in our passions.

Face AIDS members (L to R) Jasmin Bustamante sells a Face AIDS awareness pin. She is a busy student who founded Running Inc. on campus and also a nursing major. Tracy Wood Knabe, also a nursing major, is a mother and commuter student that chooses to be involved. Sarah Royer is also a busy nursing student that helps as she can with Face AIDS. There are over 150 campus organizations at TWU for you to get involved in.

In the end, we all will get to throw our hat in the air and say we did it. But those that were involved on campus will have been saying that all along. Life never waits, after all. And even though John Mayer may be waiting on the world to change, I know I certainly can't. We are simply too capable as students not to change things now. So the next time you are waiting in line, remember to admire patience in the person who is in front you and not just the person behind of you. We've all been there. In cases like that, waiting is necessary.

Also remember, that it's never too late to get involved on campus and share your passions with others. You might have to wait to graduate, but you don't have to wait to participate! That's right, no waiting.

Yours truly,

Scarlett Pope
Student Regent
Texas Woman's University

P.S. If you see me on campus, please don't be afraid to come up and say Hi! I don't mind it at all!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Article in Dallas Morning News+Student Feedback

The Dallas Morning News did a profile story on me, please read it for some background knowledge on yours truly!


I have spoken to a lot of students today, new and returning about issues they wish to address to the board of regents. I have a whole page of notes, and it looks like I'm going to have a lot to say in our second board meeting.

Please feel free to comment here or email me at with your concerns or anything you'd like the board of regents to know.

I am very humbled to be serving you all and I hope to encounter the same enthusiastic communication I have experienced lately. Please continue the trend, as student feedback is necessary for me to fulfill my role!


Scarlett Pope
TWU Student Regent

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Board of Regents Meeting August 22, 2008

Some Important topics of discussion for this Friday's meeting:
-Approving a request to be sent to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for construction of the new campus building at the Dallas Parkland Institute of Health Sciences ($55,500,000)

-Approving a cooperative Ph.D. in Nursing Science between TWU and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

-Approving of the Tuberculosis Screening Policy (last approved 1997)

So, last Friday I attended the finance and audits committee meeting in Dallas to listen and discuss the proposals for the upcoming budget. Wow, was that a learning experience. Not only did I slowly become desensitized to the word "million", but I learned so much about how the university's budget works. It seems that it all comes back to enrollment. When enrollment increases, the budget increases, salaries increase, and so forth.

During the faculty development day this past Monday I helped hand out flyers and had the pleasure to hear our Chancellor and President, Dr. Ann Stuart, address the faculty about the enrollment numbers so far.

Enrollment to date is in positive numbers, but is reaching short of the projected goal. With enrollment not on levels hoped for, faculty salaries have become "softened." Each professor received a 2% increase in pay in the new budget, while those receiving tenure received even more. Dr. Stuart expressed that faculty raises will be adjusted mid-year at November's meeting by directing all money brought in by the total increases in enrollment (which are now estimated at 2-3% enrollment growth) towards faculty paychecks. Better faculty pay is great for professors, but what does this mean to students? You tell me. In my opinion, the better our professors are paid the better education I recieve. It's like paying more for an organic apple--better quality comes at a higher price.

I wonder if this raise in pay to our professors will pay back in making sure that the students stay and graduate. Step 1 is enrolling, step 2 staying, step3 graduating. I think this is a positive announcement, but please let me know what effect you think this will bring.

I have been very busy, to elaborate my exhaustion--I just fell asleep sitting up in a chair 5 minutes ago.

More later, I promise!

Scarlett Pope
Student Regent
Texas Woman's University

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Adressing the solutions proposed by the Texas Higher Education Summit

Well, I have a lot to "blog" about!

On May 21st this year, Gov. Perry held a Higher Education Summit in Austin. A group called the Texas Public Policy Foundation created a small book of collected articles and suggestions about how to gage the future of higher education in Texas.

I was mailed the book about 2 weeks after the summit took place. I was asked that same week by the Chairman of the Board of Regents, Mr. Harry L. Crumpacker, to address the board about some keys issues that could affect the students that this report highlights.

I have listed some of the articles referenced in the book below (which can be accessed via the Internet, yay for technology!)

To read the book online click here.

-The first issue that the book addresses is the increase in tuition rates by referring to this article by Jonathan D. Glater of the New York Times.
KEY FACT: Tuition rates went up 5.7% at public universities last year.

-This US Govt report "FAQ's about College Cost" was included. A lot of tenure issues are discussed.

-The Cost Project's analysis of how Board of Regents should function.

-This article "Stop Paying More for Less" is about how colleges can boost productivity.

-Article on how tenured professorship is going down. (Q: Notice an increase in TA's anyone??)

-Grade Inflation. Q: Does this exist at TWU? Is it helpful or hurtful in your opinion?

- Here is a biggie: Graduated but Not Literate
KEY FACT: Only 25% of grads are "proficient" from a literacy standpoint--yikes!!!

The report suggest "7 Breakthrough Solutions"
  1. Measure teaching efficiency and effectiveness by comparing average student satisfaction ratings and average grade distributions ( Note: It states avg. as being the % of A's and % of B's), rank professors by their cost and number of students taught in past 12 months, collect and read all faculty publishing's, publicly post student satisfaction ratings as well as the # of students they have taught, make sure all teachers are evaluated (TA's too) and the number of students taught should be accredited to the person who spent the most time with the class.
  2. Recognize and Reward Extraordinary Teachers by offering cash bonuses (up to $10,000!) based on how well a course delivers on it's learning objectives. Teachers ranked by students in top 25% would be eligible each semester for the award. It is also based on the # of students taught, which the report says would lure teachers to teach more students. I thought low student to teacher ratio was a good thing? Send me your thoughts.
  3. Split Research and Teaching Budgets to Encourage Excellence so that teachers are paid "based on customer (student) satisfaction", and the number of students taught. Then separately reward those teachers who attract govt., business, or private donors for research opportunities. I am not sure how I feel about this issue.
  4. Require Evidence of Teaching Skill for Tenure by "having the teachers teach three classes per semester and thirty students per class for 7 or more years". The average teaching ratings would need to be a 4.5 on a 5.0 scale. Also, not sure this is a solution.
  5. Use "Results-Based" Contracts with Students to Measure Quality by having "signed contracts...established between the university, Dean, department head, teachers, and each student." Each classroom would receive a "learning contract" that is extremely detailed. It would include the avg. class size of that class, past evaluations for that teacher, the grade distributions of past classes, and how everything will be assessed. To me, it's a syllabus on steroids.
  6. Put State Funding Directly in the Hands of Students by providing each in-state student with a scholarship for undergraduate and graduate education. Students would use this for any Texas college; public or private. All scholarships would be given out through the state appropriations committee. Also, in accepting the state scholarships, the number of hours for you to attend college would be capped to encourage earlier graduation. What if the student changes their major? Also, there is no evidence to base the claim that this will increase more enrollment in higher education (even though the report acts like this would be the end result) Tell me what you think in the poll on the left hand side of the site.
  7. Create Results-Based Accrediting Alternatives. The state wants all colleges to be accredited under the U.S. Department of Education and not just the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It claims this will increase competitiveness.

I will be putting together a presentation with a few of my opinions about these proposed solutions to the board on August 22nd.

Please email me with your feedback on any of the above solutions. I am more than willing to listen to your concerns and compile them in my report to the board. Please email me with your name, major, and classification at:

Yours truly,

Scarlett Pope

TWU Student Regent

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's official!

*At 5:10pm Iwas sworn in by Mayor Tate as the student regent for Texas Woman's University.

"I solemnly swear..."

It was officially over after I made a short speech thanking everyone for their support.

Then my mother hosted a dinner party at my house, with all my favorite people in the world with me--family and friends.

Now it's official. I am very happy and so ready to get to work for the students.

Yours truly,

Scarlett Pope
TWU Student Regent

P.S. Much thanks to my brother Joshua Pope for taking the pictures!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How does it feel to be the new regent?

In a word: great!

It's like winning the Superbowl, and if I could go to Disney World, I would.

Really though, it's an amazing and humbling honor to be able to represent the students' voice on the Board of Regents. It is also an amazing challenge, but I am up to the task. I am excited and happy to work hard on behalf of the students here at TWU.

Board of Regents 101
(Summed up from the TWU Web site):

There are 10 people on the Board of Regents, all of whom are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the senate. TWU specifies that 4 of the 9 regents be women. The 10th regent (me) is a student who is not allowed to vote or be counted in a quorum. Regular regents are appointed for 6 years, while the student regent is appointed for 1 year.
To see all members on the Board of Regents go here.

What do Regent Members do?
"The Board may adopt such policies, rules and regulations for the management of the affairs of Texas Woman's University as the conduct of the business may require, but such policies, rules and regulations shall not be inconsistent with the Bylaws or the laws of the State of Texas. (V.T.C.A., Education Code, 167; 107.41 et seq.) "

What does the Student Regent do?
I have all the same responsibilities as other regents with the exception of voting and being counted in a quorum. The role is relatively new, with me being the third student regent ever appointed to the board in its 102-year history.

In addition to speaking on certain issues that are up for a vote and reading the agenda material before board meetings, I am taking full responsibility to represent my peers on and off campus. In other words, the student regent, in my eyes, is a role model. If you look at the past two student regents, this is quite obvious to see through their excellent academic records and demonstrated student leadership.

The student regent has unique opportunities to network with successful leaders on and off this campus. Just recently I was invited to the Texas Women's Hall of Fame Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club. The guest list was made up of successful Dallas women who had been inducted in the Texas Women's Hall of Fame, and TWU regents. It was a truly inspiring luncheon to be sitting to the right of renowned artist Amanda Dunbar. To my left, the equally inspiring doctor of internal medicine, best-selling author, and long term cancer survivor Wendy Schlessel Harpham. The conversations were simply fascinating, and the food wasn't bad either :)

At the end of the luncheon, TWU Chancellor Dr. Ann Stuart insisted that I speak about my experiences in Haiti. What a wonderful opportunity! And, I came ready with a small photo album in my purse so that everyone could see what I meant when I said "I worked with biosand water filters." It was great to be able to share my experiences with such an accomplished audience.

Photos from the Texas Women's Hall of Fame Luncheon:

The lovely set up.

Well, thus concludes my first blog as your new student regent. I will be updating on July 15th with pictures of my inauguration ceremony in my hometown of Grapevine.

Everyone is invited to attend, it will be on held on July 15th at 5p.m. on the steps of the Grapevine City Hall located on 200 S. Main St. Grapevine, Texas 76051. Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate will be administering the oath of office to me, so I am really excited!

**Also, I will have some important news about the Texas Public Policy Foundation's recent suggestions put forth to Texas universities from the Higher Education Summit that took place on May 21st. This is something that I will need student feedback on, since I will be making remarks on it at the next board meeting. So come back again on July 15th!

Yours truly,
Scarlett Pope
Student Regent
Texas Woman's University