The governor received a warm welcome from educators and supporters. Yes, it's an election year, but the business at hand was to pave the way for more SFA development. In a ceremonial signing Perry authorized $20 million for a new early childhood research and development center. Dean of the College of Education, Dr. John Jacobson said, "It certainly opens our capacity to handle more undergraduates, and it also would provide more opportunities for graduate education." The new facility will allow more interaction between the Early Childhood Lab and charter school students and university students and faculty in other disciplines than education. The plan is to bring the university's Early Childhood Lab, the Nacogdoches Independent School District-SFA Charter School and the Department of Elementary under one roof.
Another $10 million will be used for renovation of older buildings. House Bill 153 authorizes $1.9 billion for 48 colleges. SFA's portion was the highest the university has ever received. The governor said, "This is going to ensure that Texas institutions of higher learning have adequate space for libraries, for classrooms, research facilities, for faculty offices for that matter, updated science and computer laboratories and welcome that steady and most likely increasing growth."
Regents stood without the president that worked for the funding. They've been criticized for running administrators off. The governor won't second guess them. He offered his full support. Perry said, "It's those in the arena making the hard decisions day in and day out who know all the facts who I'm going to place my faith in."