Technical College System Pursuing Single Accreditation

Students listen to their instructor, Curtis Collins, during their Pumps, Compressors and Mechanical Drives class at Texas State Technical College Waco.
Students listen to their instructor, Curtis Collins, during their Pumps, Compressors and Mechanical Drives class at Texas State Technical College Waco.

The Texas State Technical College System has recceived the go-ahead from its governing board to pursue single accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

 

Committee Votes That Grounds for Impeachment Exist for UT Regent

House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations chairs Carol Alvarado, D-Houston and Dan Flynn, R-Canton, explain the 7-1 vote to recommend drawing up articles of impeachment against UT Regent Wallace Hall, Jr. on May 12, 2014.
House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations chairs Carol Alvarado, D-Houston and Dan Flynn, R-Canton, explain the 7-1 vote to recommend drawing up articles of impeachment against UT Regent Wallace Hall, Jr. on May 12, 2014.

UPDATED: The House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations voted Monday that there are grounds to impeach University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall. 

Gender Gap in Higher Ed Outcomes is Scrutinized

University of Texas at Austin economics majors Alexis Guevara and Ahmed Quadri capture a graduation day moment for posterity on May 5, 2014.
University of Texas at Austin economics majors Alexis Guevara and Ahmed Quadri capture a graduation day moment for posterity on May 5, 2014.

As degree attainment among men has continued to lag that of women, more state policy-makers are looking at the issue in a bid to prevent the gap from significantly affecting the state.

The Brief: May 12, 2014

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and Empower Texans president Michael Quinn Sullivan.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and Empower Texans president Michael Quinn Sullivan.

The Tribune's Aman Batheja has taken an in-depth look at Midland oilman Tim Dunn, who is best known in the Capitol for his funding of the conservative activist group Empower Texans.

In Dunn, Far Right Has Spender Who Gets Results

Tim Dunn, CEO of CrownQuest Operating, LLC, speaks at the 2011 Executive Oil Conference.
Tim Dunn, CEO of CrownQuest Operating, LLC, speaks at the 2011 Executive Oil Conference.

A Midland oilman has spent millions over the last decade financing groups focused on moving the Texas Legislature in a more conservative direction. While critics have decried his hardball tactics, Tim Dunn isn't backing down.

Creighton, Toth Bound for Senate Runoff

State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, were the four initial candidates in a May 10 special election for Senate District 4. Creighton and Toth are heading to a runoff Tuesday.
State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, were the four initial candidates in a May 10 special election for Senate District 4. Creighton and Toth are heading to a runoff Tuesday.

UPDATED: With all of the precincts counted, Brandon Creighton and Steve Toth finished first and second and appear headed for a runoff in the contest to succeed Tommy Williams in the Texas Senate. 

Texas A&M System Announces Hiring Freeze

A&M System Chancellor John Sharp explains the 25X25 engineering initiative at a Capitol press conference on Jan. 23, 2013.
A&M System Chancellor John Sharp explains the 25X25 engineering initiative at a Capitol press conference on Jan. 23, 2013.

The Texas A&M University System announced a hiring freeze among non-faculty administrative employees on Friday that's intended to cut costs and redirect money toward academics system-wide. 

Texas Cancels Medicaid Contract, Sues Xerox Over Allegedly Misspent Money

Dr. Behzad Nazari at his remaining dental clinic in Houston on Friday, April 25, 2014. Nazari sold two of three Antoine Dental clinics after the state began withholding Medicaid payments while they investigated the clinics for fraud.
Dr. Behzad Nazari at his remaining dental clinic in Houston on Friday, April 25, 2014. Nazari sold two of three Antoine Dental clinics after the state began withholding Medicaid payments while they investigated the clinics for fraud.

Health officials canceled a multi-million-dollar contract with Xerox, and the state sued the contractor on Friday amid allegations it erroneously doled out hundreds of millions of dollars for medically unnecessary Medicaid claims.

What's the Magic Number on Texas' Water Needs?

Lake Travis, a major water supply reservoir for Austin, is severely depleted due to drought. The State Water Plan calls for dozens more such reservoir projects to be built in the coming decades to meet Texas' future water needs.
Lake Travis, a major water supply reservoir for Austin, is severely depleted due to drought. The State Water Plan calls for dozens more such reservoir projects to be built in the coming decades to meet Texas' future water needs.

How much water does the state need in the coming decades? It depends on whom you ask. State water planners say that Texas needs 2.7 trillion more gallons of water a year by 2060. But some water law and planning specialists say that figure is far too high.

 

Border Rail Proposal Getting Mixed Reviews

Men work on the railroad tracks at the Union Pacific railyard in El Paso on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
Men work on the railroad tracks at the Union Pacific railyard in El Paso on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

As Mexican officials contemplate relocating a major railway that connects the state of Chihuahua to Texas, trade experts in El Paso have mixed views on whether the investment is needed immediately.

"Bernie" Movie Plays Key Role in Bernie's Freedom

Bernie Tiede leaves the Panola County Courthouse on May 6, 2014.
Bernie Tiede leaves the Panola County Courthouse on May 6, 2014.

Filmmaker Richard Linklater always thought life in prison was too harsh for Bernie Tiede, the East Texas mortician who murdered his 81-year-old companion. Now — in large part because of Linklater's film on him — Tiede is no longer behind bars.

Sign Up for The Brief

Our daily news summary