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.
Barbarians, Rankings & Guns
Chancellor Bill McRaven made headlines this week at a National Security Forum hosted by UT Austin’s Clements Center for National Security and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law. Calling Islamic State terrorists “barbarians” who “need to be destroyed,” McRaven urged the U.S. to lead in the fight against global terror. The symposium, which convened military and national security leaders from around the country, comes weeks after McRaven released his vision for the UT System, which includes building a UT Network for National Security.Continue reading
A Titan in Our Community
The Texas A&M System Board of Regents unanimously approved a 2.2 percent tuition hike this week that will impact students across the System. In explaining the increase, the Board’s Finance Chairman Charles W. Schwartz said, “We know that Texas A&M and its constituent universities don't live in a vacuum … we're subject to forces of the economy like every other public actor."Continue reading
Last weekend to kick off Texas A&M University’s $4 billion capital campaign, the Aggies pulled out all the stops, including the world’s largest card stunt that featured the campaigns’ theme: Lead by Example. Officials also announced the campaign has raised $1.9 billion since 2012 when it began the “quiet phase” of the fundraising push. According to The Eagle, funds “will provide scholarships, allow the school to compete for accomplished faculty, construct facilities and attain new technology.”