Tribpedia: Higher Education

Video: 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.

Highlights: 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, which were defended by Ronald Trowbridge, a senior fellow at TPPF and a former vice president of Hillsdale College in Michigan.

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.

UT, A&M Offer New Way to Graduate — From High School

Despite shrinking budgets, administrators at the University of Texas and Texas A&M University say they are actively involved in all aspects of the state’s education problems. But their efforts to engage in and even drive fundamental changes — like a new program that allows college-ready high school students to graduate early — are often overlooked in the state’s ongoing debate about higher education reforms.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr. 25, 2011

Aguilar and Weber on a subdued debate over homeland security, Galbraith on rising concern about natural gas drilling, Grissom on a controversial psychologist, Hamilton on the aftermath of the Rick O'Donnell episode, Philpott on the comptroller's apology, Ramshaw with more on the statewide database of child abusers, E. Smith interviews Lance Armstrong, M. Smith on what House budget cuts would mean for school districts, M. Stiles on how redistricting would change things for each House member, Tan on the Senate's wobbly attempts to approve a budget and my interview with David Dewhurst: The best of our best content from April 25 to 29, 2011.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Raymund Paredes speaks at the podium during the Generation Adelante college fair.
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Raymund Paredes speaks at the podium during the Generation Adelante college fair.

Raymund Paredes: $10,000 Degrees "Entirely Feasible"

At a board meeting of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on Wednesday, Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes said that $10,000 bachelor's degrees — books included — as proposed by Gov. Rick Perry are "entirely feasible."

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/18/11

Aaronson on a freshman lawmaker's rogue antics, Aguilar on how cartel violence affects tick eradication, Galbraith on Midland's water woes, Hamilton on the exit of a higher ed reformer, Murphy maps voting age by county, Philpott on the data breach at the Comptroller's office, Ramsey on why Susan Combs needs to eat crow, my TribLive interview with U.S. Sen John Cornyn, Ramshaw on Cornyn's refusal to take the "nickel tour" of Planned Parenthood, M. Smith annotates the contracts of superintendents, Stiles on a GOP-friendly redistricting map and Tan on a possible Rainy Day Fund raid: The best of our best content from April 18 to 22, 2011.

Kenneth Ashworth: The TT Interview

The former vice chancellor at the University of Texas and head of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on his new book — Horns of a Dilemma: Coping with Politics at the University of Texas — how the tensions of the 1970s are echoed in today's battles between politicians and academicians at the state's major universities, and on what he thinks is at stake.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr. 18, 2011

Hamilton on Victoria's efforts to divorce the University of Houston, Ramshaw on a disagreement between right-to-life groups over laws governing when life ends, E. Smith's TribLive interview with Sen. Kel Seliger and Rep. Burt Solomons on redistricting, Aguilar's interview with the mayor of Juárez, Tan on the continuing hunt for money to buy down budget cuts, Grissom on a psychologist who found more than a dozen inmates mentally competent to face the death penalty, Stiles and yours truly on the House redistricting maps and Galbraith on cutting or killing a tax break for high-cost natural gas producers: The best of our best content from April 11 to 15, 2011.

State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, explains HB 1000.
State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, explains HB 1000.

Tier-One Prize Money Tentatively Passes House

For those betting on the horserace to be the next state's next public national research — or  tier one — university, the winners are about to be crowned. Today, the House tentatively passed House Bill 1000 by House Higher Education Chairman Dan Branch, R-Dallas, which creates a mechanism for them to claim their prize money.

Video: Rick Perry on Higher Education

On Thursday morning, Gov. Rick Perry held a press conference to announce the release of the inaugural Texas Public Higher Education Almanac, which provides easy-to-read data on all public institutions of higher learning. With him were Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Chairman Fred Heldenfels, and House Higher Education Chairman Dan Branch, R-Dallas. The governor spoke to his priorities on higher education, including a four-year tuition freeze, $10,000 degrees, and outcomes-based funding.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Raymund Paredes speaks at the podium during the Generation Adelante college fair.
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Raymund Paredes speaks at the podium during the Generation Adelante college fair.

Texas Higher Ed Coordinating Board Releases Almanac

Which public university in Texas has the lowest average student SAT scores? Which is the whitest? Which has the highest graduation rate? Yesterday, questions such as these required a bit — maybe even a lot — of digging. Starting today, the answers (in order: Texas Southern University, Texas A&M University at Galveston and University of Texas at Austin) can be found easily in a new almanac.

Rick O'Donnell: The Emails

With the exception of the chancellor and a few high-profile professors, most hiring decisions at the University of Texas System go largely unnoticed or, at the very least, provoke little discussion outside the innermost circles of higher education observers. That has not been the case with higher education reformer Rick O'Donnell. Find key details of his hiring in our annotated collection of internal system documents.