The higher education track at the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival featured panel discussions on meeting state benchmarks, the completion crisis, the state of community colleges and making higher ed more affordable. Listen to audio of each session here:
The "What's Next for Closing the Gaps?" panel, moderated by Texas Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton, kicked things off for the track. Panelists included University of Texas at Brownsville President Juliet García, Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee Chairman Woody Hunt, Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes, state Sen. Kel Seliger and Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp.
Up next was the "Completion Crisis" panel, also moderated by Reeve Hamilton of the Tribune. On the panel were state Rep. Dan Branch, University of Houston President and Chancellor Rhenu Khator, Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall, University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio and University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers.
The "State of Community Colleges" panel was moderated by Ben Philpott, senior reporter for KUT News. The panel featured Texas Success Center Executive Director Angela Oriano, Austin Community College President Richard Rhodes, Brazosport College Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Lynda Villanueva and Odessa College President Gregory Williams.
The track's final panel, "Making Higher Ed Affordable," was moderated by Reeve Hamilton of the Tribune. Featured panelists included U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan, University of Texas System Vice Chancellor Stephanie Bond Huie, Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dan Jones and Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation President Sue McMillin.