Here are some of the things you might have missed.
New university president announced
Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan announced the official appointment of Provost Lawrence Schovanec as the 17th president of Texas Tech University on July 7. Schovanec officially began the role Aug. 1 and succeeds John Opperman, who served as interim president since January when the 16th president, M. Duane Nellis, resigned.
Schovanec began his 34-year career with Texas Tech as a mathematics faculty member in 1982 and was named chair of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics in 1998. He served as interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences from September 2008 through May 2010, when he was named dean. Schovanec also served as interim president from July 2012 through March 2013.
In December 2013, he was named provost. In that role, he helped strengthen Texas Tech's position as a leading national research university, and in 2016, Texas Tech was recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Tier One university in the Highest Research Activity category.
Phantom of the Opera brings Texas Tech alumnus back to Lubbock
Broadway veteran, Lubbock native and Texas Tech alumnus David Gaschen will star in the lead role of Texas Tech University's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" this fall. Gaschen has starred in the role more than 1,300 times and will be surrounded by the vocal and stage talents of the of Texas Tech Opera Theatre students.
The production is presented by Opera Theatre, in cooperation with Moonlight Broadway Productions, through exclusive arrangement with R & H Theatricals. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18-22 and Nov. 25-26, and 2 p.m. Nov. 20, 26-27 in the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theatre. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Student Union Building Ticket Office, by calling (806) 770-2000 or online. Prices range from $43.50 to $100.
New dining options debut across campus
Hospitality Services has added and updated several of the dining options on campus:
- There is now a gluten friendly all-you-care-to-eat location at the Hulen/Clement Residence Complex. This location also has increased options for vegans and vegetarians.
- Red's Donut Shoppe opened in the Student Union Building and features cake doughnuts in both regular and mini sizes. Plain and iced donuts in different flavors are available as well as kolaches and a coffee program called Café Booststella.
- The Human Sciences building has a new Sam's Express market kiosk, the eighth location of the brand on campus. Panera brand soups will be tested at various Sam's Express locations beginning this semester.
- A full service Chick-fil-A is set to open in the Rawls College addition in the spring and will serve Chick-fil-A breakfast.
- Simply Pie, a build-your-own-pizza location, was added to The Commons in Talkington Hall.
Library renovations create study and creation spaces
Renovations to the Texas Tech Library began this summer and are expected to be completed by Oct. 1:
- The fountain near the east entrance in the Croslin Room has been removed and the area is being transformed into a group study space and an area for library events.
- A Makerspace has been added to the library, allowing students whose colleges do not have 3-D printers of their own to make 3-D models free of charge.
- A new Laptop Kiosk located near the circulation desk allows students to check out a Dell laptop by swiping their Texas Tech ID.
New bag policy for athletic events implemented
A new clear bag policy has been implemented at all athletic events in an effort to provide a safer atmosphere and speed up the entry process for all fans into all venues.
Fans are now allowed the following style and size of bag, package or container:
- Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches.
- A one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
- Small clutch bags, about the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the venue with one of the clear plastic bags.
- Seat cushions and chairbacks that are 16" or less in width.
- Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection.
The following items will be prohibited from entering any Texas Tech athletic venue:
- Purses larger than a clutch bag or cinch bags
- Briefcases, luggage of any kind or diaper bags
- Backpacks, computer bags or fanny packs
- Camera bags or binocular cases
- Non-approved seat cushions and chairbacks, including large traditional seat cushions that have pockets, zippers, compartments or covers.
Campus construction and renovations continue
Several construction projects on campus are underway or nearing completion:
- The Rawls College of Business added classrooms that are now in use. The addition includes a full service Chick-fil-A (coming this spring) on the first floor facing a micro-courtyard containing artwork by Glenna Goodacre.
- The Maddox Engineering Research Center opened in what was once the Media and Communication building near Memorial Circle. The $30-million renovation includes a new façade and several labs related to materials testing.
- A New Honors Residence Hall is under construction across the street from the Rawls College and will include more than 300 beds in pod-style housing. The hall will house a Starbucks and is scheduled for completion next fall.
- The men's and women's basketball locker rooms, the volleyball locker room and the sports medicine area of the United Supermarkets Arena are under renovation. Wayfinding work and the addition of graphics are being completed in the arena.
- The Jones AT&T Stadium North End Zone Building Renovation project added 56 new loge boxes, containing seating for four and a television screen in each outdoor box and a new, larger Double-T has been installed below the seating. The old ticket office in the north end zone has been renovated to include a service bar, buffet and restrooms for the loge seating and saddlebag seating in the same area during games. Televisions will be scattered throughout that area. A large, neon Masked Rider was added for the home game against Louisiana Tech on Saturday (Sept. 17).
- The Sports Performance Center, a $48 million, privately-funded initiative, is being added within the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. Athletic Complex. It will include a new indoor football training facility and an indoor track and field venue, and athletes will have access to features like a hydrotherapy room and a sports nutrition bar. The project is expected to be completed by next summer, with the football facility possibly open for use in the spring.
- A new Texas Tech University System office building is under construction near the Marsha Sharp Freeway and Texas Tech Parkway. It will house several offices that manage and assist all four major component institutions, including Facilities Planning & Construction, the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Risk Management and Chancellor Robert Duncan. The building will also be the headquarters of the TTUS Board of Regents, with a large meeting space in the building for the governing body's meetings. It is scheduled to be completed by February.