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.
Signup for Updates:
A UT regent impeachment could make other boards cautious, expert saysRalph Haurwitz | Austin American-StatesmanRichard D. Legon, president of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, doesn't know Wallace Hall Jr. Or every detail of Hall's activities as a University of Texas System regent that have prompted a legislative investigation. But Legon said he knows this: "The first layer of reining in an overly aggressive board member should be the board." UT System Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr. looks on during an audit committee meeting in March. e described impeachment, which Hall could potentially face, as "the nuclear option" and said it could send a chilling signal to members of higher education governing boards.Legon, who was in Austin recently to speak to new members of state university and community college governing boards undergoing required orientation, made the comments in an interview with the American-Statesman. His Washington-based association, whose members include more than 1,250 colleges, universities and higher education foundation boards, works to strengthen and protect governing boards. The House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations is in the midst of a months-long inquiry into Hall's massive requests for records from the Austin campus, his handling of confidential information that he received about students and other activities. The regent and his supporters say he has raised questions about the university's handling of records requests, political influence over admissions and a loan program for law professors.
Paredes: Meeting Goals Will Require Big Changes
Reeve Hamilton | The Texas TribuneTexas will have to do things dramatically differently if the state is to meet its higher education goals, Raymund Paredes the state commissioner said during his annual State of Higher Education address on Friday. A 15-year plan called "Closing the Gaps," which was launched in 2000 to bring the state up to parity with other large states in terms of postsecondary productivity, is coming to an end, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is working on rolling out the next longterm plan.Paredes said the state has come a long way over the last 13 years but still has a long way to go. That's where the new plan comes in.