Tribpedia: Higher Education

UT System Regent Alex M. Cranberg listens to a speech before the Board by Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa on May 12, 2011.
UT System Regent Alex M. Cranberg listens to a speech before the Board by Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa on May 12, 2011.

UT System Regent's Request Stirs Controversy

After a public display of harmony last week, confusion and controversy continues to surround the University of Texas System Board of Regents. To some, a recent request made by regent Alex Cranberg amounts to the kind of micromanaging recently critized by the system's chancellor. But Cranberg and others insist it is no such thing.

Overshadowed, Med Schools Face Drastic Reductions

Texas medical schools feel like the scorned children of the state’s education budget. Lost amid the pleas of parents to restore funding for public education, and the demands of college students to preserve financial aid, the state’s health care institutions say few seem to understand the drastic situation they face. Med schools say they won’t be able to fully fund the students currently enrolled, and could be forced to curb new admissions next year.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of May 9, 2011

Aaronson on pork choppers, Aguilar on sanctuary cities legislation, Galbraith on Brownsville's ban on plastic bags, Grissom on Delma Banks and prosecutorial misconduct, Hamilton on a tough week for higher education in Texas, Philpott on wildfires and politics, Ramshaw on the state's pursuit of a federal Medicaid overhaul, M. Smith on what would happen if lawmakers don't rewrite school finance formulas, yours truly on the Lege as schooyard and Stiles with interactive graphics on how the proposed Senate redistricting maps compare with current ones: The best of our best content from May 9 to 13, 2011.

Texas Southern University had the state's lowest six-year graduation rate — 12 percent in the most recent data. But colleges throughout Texas have struggled to get more students to the finish line.
Texas Southern University had the state's lowest six-year graduation rate — 12 percent in the most recent data. But colleges throughout Texas have struggled to get more students to the finish line.

Texas Warned on Cuts to Historically Black Schools

In April, Gov. Rick Perry received a letter from Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, reminding him of the state's commitment to Prairie View A&M University and Texas Southern University.

Chancellor Dr. Fransisco Cigarroa at the University of Texas Board of Regents meeting in Austin on May 11, 2011.
Chancellor Dr. Fransisco Cigarroa at the University of Texas Board of Regents meeting in Austin on May 11, 2011.

A Tale of Two Texas University System Chancellors

At the end of a turbulent week in Texas higher education, the circumstances of the chancellors of the state’s two largest university systems stand in stark contrast. One, Mike McKinney, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, abruptly announced his retirement, effective July 1, having been quietly encouraged to do so by members of the board of regents. The other, chancellor of the University of Texas System, won unanimous support from his board of regents after he outlined his vision for advancing excellence throughout the system.

University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa (left), is congratulated by Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, after the regents gave Cigarroa a vote of confidence on May 12, 2011.
University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa (left), is congratulated by Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, after the regents gave Cigarroa a vote of confidence on May 12, 2011.

Univ. of Texas Regents Support Chancellor's Vision

At a meeting of the University of Texas System Board of Regents in Austin Thursday, UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa won unanimous support after delivering a highly anticipated address in which he laid out his “framework for advancing excellence throughout the university system.”

Harvard biologist Dr. Ronald DePinho (r) is greeted by Board of Regents chairman Gene Powell (l) after being named the head of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on May 11, 2011.
Harvard biologist Dr. Ronald DePinho (r) is greeted by Board of Regents chairman Gene Powell (l) after being named the head of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on May 11, 2011.

UT Regents Select Next President of MD Anderson

On Wednesday, The University of Texas System Regents unanimously approved Dr. Ronald A. DePinho as the sole finalist for the position of president of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Rep. Dan Branch R-Dallas, speaks with Rep. Todd Hunter R-Corpus Christi and Rep. Tom Craddick R-Midland on House floor during budget debate April 1st, 2011
Rep. Dan Branch R-Dallas, speaks with Rep. Todd Hunter R-Corpus Christi and Rep. Tom Craddick R-Midland on House floor during budget debate April 1st, 2011

Bill to Ease College Transfers Passes House

A bill that streamlines the process for community college students seeking to transfer into a four-year universities was kicked out of the House — passing unanimously — and over to the Senate this afternoon.

Sen. Steve Ogden (r), R-Bryan, talks with Sen. Robert Duell, R-Greenville, after the Senate votes, 19-12 to pass the budget on May 4, 2011.
Sen. Steve Ogden (r), R-Bryan, talks with Sen. Robert Duell, R-Greenville, after the Senate votes, 19-12 to pass the budget on May 4, 2011.

Amendments Piled Onto Texas Education Finance Bill

Senators today amended an education finance reform bill to allow community college students to carry concealed handguns on campus, increase the cost of cigarettes and allow drastic changes to university administration.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/2/11

Aaronson on the latest attack on Planned Parenthood, Aguilar previews the sanctuary cities debate, Grissom on a death row inmate's unsuccessful appeal, Hamilton on the UT System's faculty "productivity" data dump, Philpott on the prospect of lawsuits over education cuts, Ramsey on puppies and other distractions, Ramshaw on a tobacco fight, my interview with the presidents of UT-Austin and Texas A&M, M. Smith on a former State Board of Ed member who may have violated state ethics law, Stiles interactively displays the effects of House redistricting and Tan on the Senate budget end game: The best of our best content from May 2 to 6, 2011.

Full Video: TPPF's Higher Ed Reform Panel

At a panel hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Bill Powers, the president of the University of Texas, and Robert Strawser, an accounting professor at Texas A&M University and the speaker of its faculty senate, responded to the conservative think tank's proposed higher education reforms. They were defended by Ronald Trowbridge, a senior fellow at TPPF and a former vice president of Hillsdale College in Michigan. Here is the full video.

Senator Jeff Wentworth (r), R-San Antonio, discusses his campus-carry amendment with Sen. Judith Zaffirini (l), D-Laredo, on the floor of the Texas Senate on April 28, 2011.
Senator Jeff Wentworth (r), R-San Antonio, discusses his campus-carry amendment with Sen. Judith Zaffirini (l), D-Laredo, on the floor of the Texas Senate on April 28, 2011.

Campus Carry Fails to Pass the Senate — Again

When the Senate approved an amendment to state Sen. Judith Zaffirini's higher education bill that would permit the carry of concealed handguns on university campuses by a vote of 19 to 12, the Laredo Democrat killed her own legislation to prevent it from going through.

State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, listens to a colleague while discussing SB5 on April 28, 2011.
State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, listens to a colleague while discussing SB5 on April 28, 2011.

Zaffirini and Powell Escalate Texas Higher Ed Fight

An increasingly bitter disagreement over the future of the University of Texas at Austin between University of Texas System regents' chairman Gene Powell and state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, is ratcheting up the ongoing debate surrounding higher education in Texas.

William Powers Jr., UT President and R. Bowen Loftin, Texas A&M President at TribLive on April 28, 2011.
William Powers Jr., UT President and R. Bowen Loftin, Texas A&M President at TribLive on April 28, 2011.

Audio: Bill Powers and Bowen Loftin at TribLive

At last Thursday's TribLive conversation, I interviewed Bill Powers and Bowen Loftin, the presidents of the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, respectively, about the need for higher education reform, the impact of budget cuts, the predicament of middling graduation rates and more.