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.
Coalition Welcomes Fenves as New UT Austin President
The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education today issued the following statement after the UT System Board of Regents voted to appoint Dr. Gregory L. Fenves as the next president of UT Austin:
“Today’s appointment of Greg Fenves as the next president of UT Austin marks the start of a new chapter for the school and builds on a legacy of excellence. Fenves has the academic credentials, national respect, campus and alumni support, fundraising skills and working knowledge of The University to hit the ground running. We commend the presidential search committee, Chancellor McRaven and the Board of Regents for ensuring this orderly transition. With new presidents at both UT Austin and Texas A&M, exciting prospects are ahead for Texas’ major public research institutions.”Continue reading
Coalition Statement on Grand Jury Report
The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education today issued the following statement after the release of a report by a Travis County grand jury that recommended removal of UT System Regent Wallace L. Hall, Jr., but stopped short of indicting him:
“We respect the grand jury’s legal process and its findings, including its decision and statements. This confirms the Texas Legislature was right to exercise its oversight authority and look into Regent Hall’s actions. This report shows that Regent Hall’s actions were not appropriate, permissible or in keeping with best practices for public officials. Now is the time to move forward – new regents have been appointed and approved, a new president for UT Austin has been designated and the new chancellor clearly wants to move the UT System forward. It is our hope that all have learned from this experience and will join the Chancellor in a spirit of collaboration, cooperation and excellence, and work to advance opportunities for all students within the UT System.”Continue reading