Back in Session
This week the Texas Legislature gaveled in the 83rd Legislative Session and higher education will be one of the top agenda items discussed, debated and legislated during this Session. Cost, accessibility and quality are all topics of discussion, as well as the potential appointment of 16 regents to Texas university systems. Texas, of course, isn’t the only state where higher education is a hot topic. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities this week issued a report on the “Top 10 Higher Education State Policy Issues for 2013.” The full report can be viewed here, but the issues range from state support to college readiness and online education. Many of these same issues continue to dominate discussions in Texas. The Coalition will continue to be a thoughtful voice in any debate on higher education as we have since our inception in June of 2011. We believe in the critical importance of both teaching and research, we promote quality in higher education, and we support university leaders who have demonstrated their commitment to a culture of excellence and continual innovation. We also support the efforts of those universities that are working to achieve Tier One status, which would bring additional research and development capabilities, and create jobs and economic opportunity throughout Texas. This legislative session we will champion those efforts to improve quality education for Texas students and criticize any so-called “reforms” that will undermine the quality and integrity of our universities, especially our Tier One institutions.
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Powell, McCombs & The Fog of War
It's been a busy week in Texas higher education news, and as usual The University of Texas stands at the center. Two major stories from the last week warrant mention, beginning with a lengthy two-part Texas Monthly interview with Gene Powell, chairman of the UT Board of Regents.Powell's interview (Part One, Part Two) comes hot on the heels of an op-ed that ran in the Houston Chronicle under the byline of Red McCombs, the prominent University of Texas supporter from San Antonio and Distinguished Alumnus for whom the business school is named.
Coalition Responds to Passage of Senate Bill 15 to Improve Higher Education Governance
Today the Texas House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 15, relating to the governance of public institutions of higher education. Upon passage the Coalition issued the following statement:“We applaud the legislature for recognizing the important need to improve standards of excellence within our state’s governing boards. Texas’ institutions of higher education are critical to our state’s economy, and ensuring we develop educated, well-informed citizens to drive our state’s future. Senate Bill 15 is an important step toward improving the governance of these critical state institutions and ensuring members of the boards of regents are adequately equipped, prepared and trained to govern properly. It is our hope that the standards set forth in this bill will lead to a more constructive and less divisive approach to governing our universities.”See the full statement here.Continue reading