“So far Texas has been incomparable.”
“So far Texas has been incomparable.” That was how newly minted UT System Chancellor James Milliken reflected on his first two weeks on the job when he spoke recently at the Texas Tribune Festival. In discussing what he plans to bring to the role, he said: “The foundation of my philosophy about public higher education is that talent is equally distributed across every demographic—whether it’s wealth, race, ethnicity, nationality, or zip code.” A recap of the festival, which also featured conversations about higher ed policy by Texas lawmakers, can be viewed here.
Texas A&M is leading an effort to help stop cross-border biological threats. According to the Houston Chronicle, "AgriLife Research, the university's agricultural outreach program's research arm, will be joined by other programs within the Texas A&M University System during a 10-year grant period. The consortium will work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to counter existing and potential biological threats through research and education resources."
The Texas Tech University System announced that Tedd Mitchell, president of the system's Health Sciences Center, was the sole finalist for the role of Chancellor. Robert Duncan left the role just under a month ago. In other leadership changes at Tech, Governing Board Chair Rick Francis, resigned saying “it is time for a change in leadership.” At a subsequent meeting, the Board elected Tim Lancaster as chairman and Christopher Huckabee as vice chairman. Francis will serve out his term as a Board member through January 2019.
Texas A&M announced record enrollment for the fall 2018 semester. With a 1.2 percent increase in enrollment, Texas A&M now has 68,367 students at its College Station, Health Science Center and Galveston campuses.
A UT Austin Chemist, Livia S. Eberlin, was awarded the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award – a $625,000 fellowship. She “led a research team that developed a pen-sized device to detect cancer,” according to the Statesman’s reporting. The foundation gives the award to “extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.”
Sam Houston State University will break ground on a new medical school by late 2018. The school will focus on osteopathic medicine and will be based in Conroe on seven acres donated last month. The university received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in August. The school aims to “ease a shortage of primary care physicians in East Texas — particularly in rural communities.”
UT Austin Alum James Allison was awarded a joint Nobel Prize for “discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.” Allison’s work in cancer immunotherapy focuses on training immune system’s to “attack cancer cells the same way it already goes after bacteria and viruses.” Listen to an interview in which Allison discusses his work here.
Texas Women’s University announced the launch of a new Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy. The program aims to increase the “number of women who will seek out leadership positions in public policy through advocacy or government leadership.” It is the first of its kind in Texas.
"Talent is universal. Opportunity isn't."
"You start with a premise that talent is universal. Opportunity isn't.” That is the philosophy of new UT System Chancellor James Milliken who sat down for a wide-ranging interview with KXAN in Austin. He discussed the need for more higher education in Texas, to meet growing demand now and in the future, and highlighted his priorities for the Legislative Session, which includes getting lawmakers to increase higher education investments. He would not disclose if former Chancellor McRaven advised him to make his bed. (Though he did give him “lots of tips about leading the UT System.”)Continue reading
A special unit of the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets is focusing on digital national defense – training up the next generation of “cyber warriors” according to The Eagle. “The recent John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act designated all senior military colleges as cyber institutes that, according to the act, should offer programs to ‘provide future military and civilian leaders of the Armed Forces or the Department of Defense who possess cyber operational expertise from beginning through advanced skill levels.’” There are 47 cadets in the unit this year.Continue reading