"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.”)
Texas A&M inaugurated its McAllen campus two years after breaking ground on the facility. Governor Abbott, who attended the ceremony along with System Chancellor John Sharp, said “This is an investment that will benefit the entirety of the state of Texas.” “This is College Station come to the Rio Grande Valley,” Sharp said. “These young men and women will wear the same ring that I wear; they’ll get to go to the same football games that we all get to go to. They have the same privileges everybody else does.”
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board unanimously approved the University of Houston’s medical school proposal. “We’re hopeful this school will have a great impact, addressing the state shortage of primary-care doctors,” Renu Khator, UH’s president and chancellor, told the Houston Chronicle.
Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, was profiled in Texas Monthly’s November “Power Issue.” The College, which was founded in 1872 to “educate freedmen and their children,” has undergone a renaissance under Sorrell’s decade of leadership. “My goal is to create one of America’s best small colleges, with students who come from the margins, students who have lived lives of scarcity,” Sorrell told the magazine. “I want Paul Quinn to be the place that lifts them up.”
The Texas A&M University System began its oversight, along with the Battelle Memorial Institute and the University of California, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory this month. The Board of Regents created an oversight committee for the project, which will serve as the Board’s “eyes and ears” according to Chancellor Sharp.
In an opinion editorial in TribTalk, Tim Letzring, the Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Texas A&M University-Commerce writes of his concerns over the increase in dual credit offerings across the state – especially in areas where there is not a partnership with a local college or university to administer those credits. “My greatest concern is for students who take dual credit courses in high school with the best of intentions — only to find out that they are not adequately prepared, academically or developmentally, for the rigor and social challenges that await them after high school. If these students experience only frustration in college, we will have failed them.”
UT Austin was chosen as a leader in LaserNetUS, a new national network of institutions operating high-intensity, ultrafast lasers. The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy “aims to help boost the country’s global competitiveness in high-intensity laser research.”
The Texas Tech University System Board feels “confident” in plans to move forward on a veterinary school. A story by KAMC, the ABC affiliate in Lubbock, looked at the money, politics and influence associated with university regents and higher education in Texas – and their role in Tech’s quest for a veterinary school. Former chancellor Bob Duncan, who was ousted in the power struggle, said he will “assist Texas Tech as a ‘volunteer’ advocate heading into the next legislative session.”
Texas A&M University System Regent, Tony Buzbee, recently announced he is running for Houston mayor in 2019. Buzbee’s term as a regent expires in February 2019.