Regents approve SFA joining University of Texas system

UT System Board of Regents chair says SFA’s name, mascot, colors will not be changed
SFA Board of Regents hear recommendation on joining system affiliation.
SFA Board of Regents hear recommendation on joining system affiliation.(KTRE)
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 9:52 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2022 at 11:14 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The SFA Board of Regents voted Tuesday to join the University of Texas system.

The university heard offers from three other systems as part of a process which started in August. Other systems involved included Texas State, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M.

Regents Chair Karen Gantt said the university and all systems agreed to keep the school’s name, mascot and colors intact. She said all applying systems, including UT, agreed.

In an interview with KLTV/KTRE, UT System Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife said the SFA brand will be preserved.

The board elected to join the University of Texas system.

“We love everything Lumberjack,” Eltife said. “We’re not going to change the name. No one wants to change the mascot, the colors, none of that. Stephen F. Austin has a rich tradition and successful history that our regents and leadership deeply admire and respect. We are honored and enthusiastic about taking the next steps together in this process with confidence that this union will make each of us stronger. Our proposal to SFA outlined our sincere commitment to helping the university build upon its programs, traditions and culture that have made the university unique for nearly a century, while adding resources to help amplify those strengths and ultimately serve more Texans.”

Regent Robert Flores was the lone dissenting vote. He said he had reservations that UT would keep their end of the deal on preserving the SFA name. He cited other UT system schools in his comments.

Robert Flores said he does not believe the UT system will honor commitment to preserve school name.

Any system affiliation will have to be approved by Texas Legislation. State Rep. Travis Clardy (R) said he is talking to Sen. Robert Nichols (R) about the legislation.

Clardy said he is excited for the future of SFA.

“It’s an opportunity that our board felt was very important for the future of our university to be able to access the resources that aren’t currently available to us that will now enhance the opportunities for our students, employees, and the community,” said interim SFA President Dr. Steve Westbrook.