Tribpedia: Texas State University System

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 8/29/11

Aaronson on the stats behind the Texas Miracle, Aguilar on an area of the budget that didn't get cut during the session, Dehn and Tan wrap-up our 31 Days, 31 Ways project, Galbraith talks to Todd Staples about the drought, Grissom on controversial executions during Rick Perry's tenure (plus a visualization by Murphy and Seger), Hamilton on the Rodney Dangerfield of Texas universities, Philpott on the search for clues in past Perry debates, Ramshaw on Perry's opposition to abortion rights and Root on Perry's assurances to conservatives that his past won't embarrass them: The best of our best content from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2, 2011.

Chancellor Brian McCall of the Texas State University System speaks with Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton on Aug. 5, 2010.
Chancellor Brian McCall of the Texas State University System speaks with Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton on Aug. 5, 2010.

Texas State's Uphill Battle for Attention

When University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa unveiled his action plan last week, it was national news. Not so when Brian McCall, chancellor of the Texas State University System, did the exact same thing — a week earlier. It's a prime illustration of the uphill battle for attention faced by a public university in Texas that has neither the Longhorns nor the Aggies as a mascot.

Natalie Butler (upper left) is the student body president at University of Texas at Austin and a member of the executive committee of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education. Christopher Covo (lower left) is the director of America's Next Impact, a project of the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.
Natalie Butler (upper left) is the student body president at University of Texas at Austin and a member of the executive committee of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education. Christopher Covo (lower left) is the director of America's Next Impact, a project of the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.

Groups Positioning For Prolonged Higher Ed Debate

With multiple third-party organizations across the state cropping up, along with a new Legislature-created oversight committee, expect a protracted public discussion about how to best address the state's high ed problems such as rising tuition and ballooning student debt.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 1/17/11

The Trib staff on the sweeping cuts in the proposed House budget, Grissom on what's lost and not found at the Department of Public Safety, Galbraith on the wind power conundrum, Hamilton on higher ed's pessimistic budget outlook, Stiles and Swicegood debut an incredibly useful bill tracker app, Ramsey interviews Rick Perry on the cusp of his second decade as governor, Aguilar on a Mexican journalist's quest for asylum in the U.S., Ramshaw on life expectancy along the border, M. Smith on the obstacles school districts face in laying off teachers and yours truly talks gambling and the Rainy Day Fund with state Rep. Jim Pitts: The best of our best from January 17 to 21, 2011.

Texas University Chancellors Brace for Budget Cuts

Every chancellor of a university system in Texas knows — down to the exact, excruciatingly precise percentage point — how much worse higher education fared than other agencies when their current budgets were cut. With the state facing a massive budget shortfall in the next biennium, the chancellors know they're in for another round. But this time they're adamant that they not bear a disproportionate share of the pain.

State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, at the Texas GOP Convention in June, 2010
State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, at the Texas GOP Convention in June, 2010

As Prospects Fizzle, Wentworth Plans Return to Senate

State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, wasn’t expected back at the Capitol this session after seeking two high-profile higher education jobs over the summer. But both opportunities fizzled, and now the 70-year-old says he’s “gunned up and ready to go” for his seventh term in the Senate — even if he'll return with clout resembling that of a freshman. He’s without the aides who knew him best and stripped of the Jurisprudence Committee he used to chair. Still, his insistence on putting his own political views ahead of his party's could make him a key player at a time when Senate Republicans are a few votes short of a two-thirds majority.

Emerging Research Universities Vie for Tier One Status

It could take years before the seven emerging research universities in Texas (Texas Tech University, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas at El Paso) transform themselves into top-tier research campuses — if they do at all. But the state now pays them for demonstrated progress toward that goal, pitting them against one another in competition for limited funds. Officials from all seven will appear before a joint hearing of the House and Senate higher education committees today, seeking to show off progress to lawmakers and to size up where they stand against their peers.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of August 9 to 13, 2010

Stiles on Bill White's donor-appointees, M. Smith on a form of meritless lawsuit that's still legal in Texas, Ramshaw on what federal health care reform means for the future of physician-owned specialty hospitals, Galbraith's interview with the chairman of the Public Utility Commission, Philpott on the latest flap over federal education funding, Grissom on the finally-in-compliance Dallas County Jail, Titus on the oiled pelicans of the BP spill, Hamilton's interview with the new chancellor of the Texas State University System, Ramsey on the political and legal definitions of residency, Hu on Barack Obama's visit to Austin and Aguilar on what the U.S. could be doing to aid Mexico: The best of our best from August 9 to 13, 2010.

Chancellor Brian McCall of the Texas State University System speaks with Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton on Aug. 5, 2010.
Chancellor Brian McCall of the Texas State University System speaks with Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton on Aug. 5, 2010.

McCall: "This System Is the Action"

The longtime House member from Plano and newly installed chancellor of the Texas State University System (sorry, Sen. Wentworth) talked to the Tribune on Thursday about why he took the job, the importance of Hispanic outreach, the case against cutting the state's higher ed budget, the trouble with the Legislature and what a good governor shouldn't do.

Texas State's Human-Powered Gym

At Texas State University, one 30-minute workout can generate enough electricity to power a laptop for three hours. Watch as the director of campus recreation explains how elliptical machines and treadmills are harnessed into alternative energy.