I wrote the cover story in the current issue of TEXAS MONTHLY. The subject is the future of higher education generally and the threats to the academic reputation of UT-Austin in particular. In the story I deal with Governor Perry’s attempt, starting in 2008, to control higher ed by seeking to impose “breakthrough solutions” that would radically alter the way higher education is governed, in ways that are at times inconsistent with the mission of a Tier 1 university. Some of the reforms proposed were intriguing, but none are in general use.
The latest concern is that recent appointees to the Board of Regents, several of them connected to the influential Texas Public Policy Foundation, have an ideological agenda concerning the governance of UT-Austin–expanding enrollment and reducing funding–that may jeopardize the academic stature of the university. UT is not the only campus in the state to face this threat; at one point, Texas A&M was in danger of losing its membership in the Association of American Universities, the “club” of the nation’s leading research universities. The objective of my story is to relate how this state of affairs came to exist and how it might impact the state’s leading universities.
And so it begins ...
Happy New Year and first day of the Texas Legislature! Here’s your first Roundup of higher education news in 2019. With the legislative session now underway, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on the latest higher ed happenings under the pink dome.Continue reading
"Talent is universal. Opportunity isn't."
"You start with a premise that talent is universal. Opportunity isn't.” That is the philosophy of new UT System Chancellor James Milliken who sat down for a wide-ranging interview with KXAN in Austin. He discussed the need for more higher education in Texas, to meet growing demand now and in the future, and highlighted his priorities for the Legislative Session, which includes getting lawmakers to increase higher education investments. He would not disclose if former Chancellor McRaven advised him to make his bed. (Though he did give him “lots of tips about leading the UT System.”)Continue reading