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.
UT System Board of Regents Chair Sara Martinez Tucker announced she will step down from the Board two years ahead of schedule. No reason has been given for the move. According to the Austin American-Statesman, “Possible successors as head of the UT board include Regent Kevin Eltife, a former state senator from Tyler, and Steve Hicks, a businessman and philanthropist in Austin.”
Ahead of a decision this week by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the University of Houston released this video to make the case for its proposed medical school. Featuring Chancellor Renu Khator, UH College of Medicine Founding Dean Stephen Spann and others, the video highlights the shortage of primary care doctors in Texas as a primary reason for approval. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is one of three hurdles the proposed UH medical school must surmount. The others are accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and a commitment from the Texas Legislature for $40 million in funding over 10 years.” The Board meets Thursday.
In its annual top 100 World’s Most Innovative Universities ranking, Reuters named The University of Texas System as No. 6, three slots higher than last year's rankings. “The University of Texas System is certainly in excellent company, but the beneficiary of the world-class talent, research and inventions at UT institutions is Texas,” Chancellor James B. Milliken said in a statement. “The culture of innovation at UT institutions is advancing science that is changing and saving the lives of Texans – and beyond.”
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved five new degree programs at the University of North Texas. The programs range from a bachelor of arts in urban policy and planning to a master's of science degree in emergency management and disaster science.
In a lengthy piece called “Inside Texas State’s year of hate: neo-Nazi propaganda fight” the Austin American-Statesman chronicled the challenge that university leadership has faced in dealing with the increased presence of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups on its campus. The school, which is now majority minority, with white students making up 47 percent of its population in 2017, continues to balance an appropriate response to incidents that strike “fear and frustration” in students of color and aiming to protect “respectful” free speech. The administration has been criticized by students and faculty alike over its response. Free speech on campus will continue to be a hot topic among Texas lawmakers who studied the issue during the interim.
In an editorial penned for the Texas Tribune, Baylor University president, Dr. Linda Livingstone, laid out the school’s strategic plan, highlighting key research areas on which the university is focused. “These initiatives range from expanding programs in health, data sciences and materials science, to understanding factors that impact human flourishing, leadership and ethics and growing partnerships that explore existing and new work along the border and in Latin America.”