TribYear: Top Texas News of 2012

Only two of the state’s 38 public four-year universities can graduate half of their students within four years — and even then, just barely. At the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reports, 53 percent of incoming freshmen graduate in four years. Texas A&M University graduates 51 percent.

Texas endured the most intense drought in recorded state history in 2011, and it has yet to bounce back. Water levels at a number of reservoirs remain significantly low, particularly in West Texas, which is drier than East Texas.

J.O. Dawdy, who has been a ...

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