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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.

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Latest Updates

  • Grand jury to consider case against UT Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr.

    A Travis County grand jury will consider possible criminal charges against University of Texas System Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr. “in the very near future,” the prosecutor leading the investigation said Thursday. Among the issues is whether Hall violated state law with his relentless pursuit of records from UT-Austin, his alma mater, and by disclosing confidential student information. The regent said Thursday that he was aware of the impending grand jury proceedings but is “very comfortable” with everything he has done. University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall, right, is interviewed by Evan Smith, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tribune, left, ... Read More “It would be nicer if they said, ‘We’ll close the file,’” Hall said at an event sponsored by the Texas Tribune, adding that nobody likes to face a possible indictment.
     
    Hall was appointed to a six-year term on the UT Board of Regents in 2011 by Gov. Rick Perry, who himself was indicted last month on two felony charges related to the Public Integrity Unit, the arm of the Travis County district attorney’s office that is investigating Hall. The governor is accused in connection with his threat — eventually carried out — to veto funding for the unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after her drunken driving arrest.
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  • President search committee starts coming together

    With President William Powers Jr. set to leave his position in June 2015, Paul Foster, UT System Board of Regents chairman, is in the process of forming a search committee to find candidates to replace him.
    In July, Powers agreed with Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa to set his resignation for June 2015. Cigarroa initially asked Powers to resign in October, but Powers requested to stay on until after the 2015 legislative session.
    At the regents meeting Thursday, Foster announced Pedro Reyes, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Larry Faulkner, who served as University president from 1998-2006, would both chair the committee. Foster also said an outside firm would be hired to help the committee identify candidates.
     
    “I am asking the committee to bring to the board the broadest possible slate of highly-qualified, experienced and skilled leaders with exceptional dedication and talent necessary to lead the University of Texas at Austin,” Foster said. In accordance with the Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Foster said he will also select board members and System institution presidents to the committee as well as alumni and external members. Naval Adm. William McRaven, who will become System chancellor in January, has agreed to serve as one of the external members on the committee. In addition, a University dean will also serve on the committee, as elected by his fellow deans.
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