Virginia: A Cautionary Tale for Texas

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors met today to vote on whether to re-instate President Teresa Sullivan, who was forced to resign earlier this month. While President Sullivan was unanimously reinstated during the meeting, the subsequent turmoil after her resignation – prominent resignations, negative national publicity, tensions among faculty, students and alumni, complaints about a lack of transparency – offers another cautionary tale for Texas about the importance of boards and administrators working collaboratively for the good of the institution and student body.

Today, the Coalition issued the following statement viewing Virginia as a cautionary tale for Texas.

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  • Texas A&M plans to save $130 million through recommended changes

    An administrative review of Texas A&M University conducted by the school's Leadership Steering Committee and carried out by a London-headquartered firm has identified more than $130 million in total funds available to be reallocated back into the university between 2015 and 2019. According to the LSC report, the savings will free up more than $13 million in annual recurring funds and almost $3.5 million in one-time funds for reinvestment into the university's main campus, Health Science Center and Galveston campus.
    Interim President Mark A. Hussey appointed the six-person leadership committee, chaired by Associate Provost for Strategic Planning Jose Luis Bermudez, in May to evaluate the comprehensive review commissioned by Chancellor John Sharp and carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Hussey stated in an email to A&M faculty and staff Wednesday that he accepted all recommendations made by the committee and will begin implementing them in the coming weeks.
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  • UT-Austin will admit larger ratio of top students

    Beginning in fall 2016, the University of Texas at Austin will automatically admit applicants in the top 8 percent of their graduating classes. For the past two years, those in the top 7 percent have been guaranteed admission. UT-Austin President Bill Powers confirmed the 8 percent automatic admission in a Sept. 9 letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Michael Williams and various lawmakers.
    Of the 12,379 high school admits into the 2014 freshman class, 8,979 were automatically admitted, according to estimates UT-Austin released to the Houston Chronicle. University staff could not estimate how many additional top students would be admitted in 2016. “We do anticipate a larger number of auto-admits when that change goes into effect in 2016, though there is no specific estimate,” said UT-Austin Director of Media Outreach J.B. Bird.
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