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.
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Matthew McConaughey, Earl Campbell among UT-Austin alums honored by Texas ExesThe University of Texas recognized a handful of its standout graduates and their professional accomplishments Friday night with Distinguished Alumnus Awards. This year’s recipients have represented their school in a variety of places: Hollywood, the football field, a restored state Capitol and beyond. Matthew McConaughey, Earl Campbell and Dealey Herndon were among those honored with the award, which is handed out each year to six people by Texas Exes, the school’s alumni association.McConaughey, who earned his degree in 1993, has emerged as one of the most recognized Texans of today. This year, the actor earned an Academy Award for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. “I met my longest and best friends that I have and still have in my life right here,” he said Friday at the LBJ Presidential Library. “I’ve got three children now, and I would be very honored if they chose to come to this university, so to that I say, hook ’em, Horns.” Star running back Campbell was the first Longhorn to win the Heisman trophy, in 1977. He went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints. The Tyler native and 1979 UT grad charmed the crowd Friday with jokes and stories about being recruited to play for Texas, his first encounters in Austin and his coaches and teammates.Continue reading
Texas A&M selected best for veteransMilitary veterans-turned-Aggies have made the best possible college decision, according to a ranking of nearly 1,400 colleges nationwide. Red Raiders aren’t too far behind. Texas A&M University in College Station was named the best school for veterans based on 19 different factors by College Factual, a website that crunches data on higher education to provide numerous rankings.This ranking aims “to help veterans and active duty service members to identify colleges that are likely to be supportive of them and their unique needs,” according to College Factual’s website.The factors considered in the ranking include affordability, veteran population, veteran flexibility, veteran policies, veteran resources and overall college quality.A&M had 1,213 undergraduate students receiving GI Bill benefits at the time the data was collected and participates in all four federal programs that help set the standards for veteran education, according to College Factual.