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.
Saying Goodbye to a Legend
This week the world lost a living legend. Dr. Denton Cooley, renowned heart surgeon, passed away at 96 years of age. A former Longhorn basketball player, Cooley went on to found the Texas Heart Institute and revolutionize “many techniques still used in cardiovascular surgery today.” “The University of Texas prepares leaders who can benefit society and improve the world — none more so than Dr. Cooley, who continued to give back throughout his life,” said UT Austin President Greg Fenves. “His legacy on campus and throughout the world will be felt for generations.”Continue reading
Are you ready for OMLD?
What should higher ed watchers expect from the Trump Administration? It’s hard to say. As the Houston Chronicle pointed out this week, President Elect Trump’s “higher education policies are sparse but have the potential to vastly change how the federal government works with colleges and universities.” One huge idea floated during the campaign was dismantling the Department of Education, which manages federal student loan programs among many other roles related to higher ed. Another idea included addressing student debt by capping interest repayment rates on student loans. Overall he’s touched on affordability and access in speeches, but offered little in the way of specifics. Stay tuned.Continue reading