Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — A bill to change Adams State College to University status has passed the first of two milestones: it has been passed by the House of Representatives.
House Bill 1080, which proposes to give Adams State College University status, was previously approved unanimously (9-0) by the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, and 10-1 by the Education Committee. The lone dissenter was Chris Holbert (Republican, District 44-Douglas County).
If approved by the Senate and signed by the governor the change will be official for the start of the 2012-2013 academic year.
The Adams State Board of Trustees voted at their August 26 meeting to pursue the change to Adams State University.
One of the reasons the board wanted the change was so new revenue sources could open up.
As a university the institution can increase the number of programs offered to students, which will lead to larger student enrollment.
According to the bill, if it becomes law:
“Adams State UNIVERSITY shall offer undergraduate liberal arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business degree programs, a limited number of GRADUATE level programs, and two-year transfer programs with a community college role and mission. Adams state college shall not offer vocational education programs. Adams State UNIVERSITY shall receive resident credit for two-year course offerings in its commission-approved service area. Adams UNIVERSITY has a significant responsibility to provide access to teacher education in rural Colorado. Adams State UNIVERSITY shall also serve as a regional education provider. In addition, Adams State UNIVERSITY shall offer programs, when feasible, that preserve and promote the unique history and culture of the region.”
State Representative Ed Vigil, a graduate of USC and co-sponsor of the bill with Gail Schwartz, said the status change will be good for current and past students.
“This name change will help give the students and alumni of Adams
State the respect they have earned,” said Vigil. “It will also help us recruit top-notch faculty, making an Adams State education even more valuable.”
Metropolitan State College of Denver, also seeking a status change to University, saw their bill pass the House of Representatives as well.
Both institutions will see expanded course offerings and degree programs with the change in names.
If Adams State College changes to Adams State University it would be the institution’s fifth name since its founding 91 years ago to prepare public school teachers for rural Colorado. Adams State Normal School opened in 1925; in 1929 the name was changed to Adams State Teachers College of Southern Colorado, then shortened in 1938 to Adams State Teachers College. The current name was adopted in 1946 in recognition of the broader offering of undergraduate liberal arts programs and the expansion of graduate degree programs.