Creating Leaders, Encouraging Innovation, Promoting Excellence
The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education is a group of concerned citizens who believe strongly in the power of higher education to transform lives, build our economy and shape Texas’ future. We believe a great university is an incubator of knowledge and creativity. It fuels discovery, and marries research with enhanced classroom teaching, learning, and hands-on experience. It also serves as an economic engine bringing in millions in research and development dollars, new businesses and industries, creating jobs and economic opportunity throughout Texas.
We believe we need to create high quality pathways to higher learning with partnerships linking the flagship universities with high schools, community colleges, technical schools and Tier One institutions, to ensure our educational system meets the diverse and growing needs of our population. In an increasingly global economy, future leaders must be challenged to think differently and consider the implications of diverse cultures, histories and traditions. Well-rounded and informed students are critical to keeping Texas and America competitive and attracting jobs and employers to our state.
Advocates for Texas' Future
The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education is a group of volunteer advocates who believe the pursuit of knowledge must be a state and national priority. At a time when America’s ability to compete and lead the world is at risk, the research conducted, innovations developed, and resulting improved teaching at Texas’ higher education institutions are more important than ever before. We hope to advance a thoughtful, constructive and transparent dialogue around these important issues for all Texans.
Our Call to Action
The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education was necessitated by the strong belief that there is a right way to improve higher education and that there is a wrong way that could have long-term damaging effects on our institutions of higher learning, our state's economy and on our future. Current recommendations being floated - from dramatically expanding enrollment while slashing tuition to separating research and teaching budgets, and seceding from a recognized and respected accreditation organization - are decidedly the wrong way. We believe our public university presidents and chancellors have earned our support with their ongoing commitment to a culture of excellence and continual innovation, while also working to cut operating costs and institute reforms. We also believe it is critical to regularly and openly evaluate the performance of our universities, and do so in a public and transparent way.
This website is intended to be a place for the latest news and information on the debate over high-quality higher education in Texas and for the exchange of open constructive dialogue about continued improvements.
The Board is Fantastic
This week the UT System Board of Regents met for a retreat and among the anticipated topics of discussion was the future of the System’s chancellor, Bill McRaven. McRaven is nearing the end of a three-year contract and his future with the System has been uncertain. “A majority of the board wants a smaller, leaner system,” said Regent R. Steven Hicks recently. “Hopefully it’s something Chancellor McRaven can support. I think he’s a world-class leader, and I’m hopeful we can all come to mutual agreement on where we want the UT System to go.” Chancellor’s Council member, Gordon Appleman, recently told the Statesman that McRaven “brings credibility and innovative thought and courage to the job that’s absolutely needed.” The board adjourned on Thursday, however, without discussing the matter. The “board is fantastic” McRaven told reporters after the meeting ended. “We have not had a discussion … That will come in time.”Continue reading
Enrollment Up ... And Down
“It's a good time to be a Texas college or university.” That was the analysis of the San Antonio Express-News data team, which took a look at a new study showing Texas’ higher education enrollment had increased by 3.75 percent from just two years ago. Texas is said to be “bucking” a national trend, which saw universities in Michigan, New York and California losing between 18,000 and 20,000 students each. Changes in the national birth rate mean most states will continue to lose students as the college age population shrinks. But not Texas. “By 2020, there will be about 3,000 fewer public high school graduates than there were in 2013,” according to one study cited in a Houston Chronicle article. “But in that time period, the number of public high school graduates in Texas is projected to grow by several percentage points per year, amounting to a 22.6 percent growth between the 2011-12 academic year and 2024-25.”Continue reading