Higher education

Caleb Bryant Miller, Jacob Villanueva

On the Records: Paycheck U.

Today we're adding another 17 agencies to our government salaries database, an extra 67,000 workers who collectively earn $2.9 billion in public payroll. The database now has records on more than 550,000 employees working at 62 of the largest state agencies, cities, universities, counties and mass-transit authorities.

Full Story 
Caleb Bryant Miller

Data App: More University Pay

The top professors and administrators at Texas universities routinely earn between to $250,000 and $500,000 year, while presidents and chancellors earn up to $900,000, according to salary data for more than a dozen universities and university systems added today to the Tribune's public employee salary database. Some 57 employees at the University of Texas make more than $250,000; by contrast, only 13 employees at Texas Tech make that much.

Full Story 
Caleb Bryant Miller

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on the transgender marriage conundrum, Hu on the workers' comp whistleblowers, M. Smith on the Texas GOP's brush with debt, Garcia-Ditta on why student regents should vote, Aguilar on the tripling of the number of visas given by the feds to undocumented crime victims, Hamilton on the paltry number of state universities with graduation rates above 50 percent, Ramshaw and Stiles on the high percentage of Texas doctors trained in another country, Ramsey and Stiles on congressmen giving to congressmen, Galbraith on how prepared Texas is (very) for a BP-like oil spill, and my conversation with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst: The best of our best from May 10 to 14, 2010.

Full Story 

A Voice but No Vote

It took decades to get Texas lawmakers to allow students to sit on each university system's board of regents — and only on the condition that they can't vote. But most other states with student regents do grant voting privileges.

Full Story 
wikipedia.org

The Graduation Gap

For years, Texas universities have focused on getting more students onto to their campuses. The hard part, it turns out, is getting them to leave in no more than six years.

Full Story 

Of Mice and Men

When Gov. Rick Perry announced the establishment of the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine, a public-private partnership between the Texas A&M University System and Lexicon Genetics, he said the $50 million high-level mouse laboratory, paid for through the Texas Enterprise Fund that he controls, would “attract millions of dollars for medical research and lead to the development of life-saving medical treatments and therapies” for everything from diabetes to cancer. Five years later, depending on who you ask, TIGM has either been a massive taxpayer-subsidized boondoggle or a blessing to scientists across the globe.

Full Story 
Linda Rux

TribBlog: Diane Wouldn't

Barack Obama will apparently name his solicitor general, Elena Kagan, the former dean of Harvard Law School, to replace the retiring John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court, once again bypassing UT Law grad Diane Wood, who has now been on the president's short list twice.

Full Story 
wikipedia.org

Stolen Bases

If you're wondering about the economic impact of the federal military base realignment and closure effort, look only as far as Texas, where two cities with shuttered bases are struggling to keep residents employed and spirits up, while one city with an expanded base is booming.

Full Story 
Reeve Hamilton

Inman Inside

Every Friday since a blast at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia killed 29 miners, graduate students at UT's LBJ School of Public Affairs have been treated to an insider briefing. The name of their course is Managing Crises, and their professor, Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, is dealing with a big one.

Full Story 
Reeve Hamilton

TribBlog: Hotze, Perry and Gay Jesus

For a one-time-only performance that would have been under an hour, the saga of Tarleton State University’s “gay Jesus” play sure has been a long one. In the latest plot twist, a Tarleton State journalism student has uncovered a conservative activist's allegation that Gov. Rick Perry and his chief of staff were somehow involved.

Full Story 

The Old Community College Try

At the Texas Capitol today, lawmakers will begin to look at how the state’s community college system fits into the overall picture of higher education. The House Higher Education Committee will review ways to increase the role of community colleges — not only in getting kids to stay in school but in graduating them more quickly and efficiently. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Trib reports. Full Story 

Borrow and Mend

New federal student loan reforms, passed along with controversial health care reform legislation, will shore up Pell Grants for tens of thousands of college students in Texas — and save the feds a projected $68 billion by cutting private banks out of financial aid.

Full Story 
Graphic by Jacob Villanueva

"The School-to-Prison Pipeline"

A new report by Texas Appleseed spotlights two troubling trends: the high number and proportion of discretionary expulsions by school districts, often for low-level "persistent misbehavior," and the disproportionate severity of discipline meted out to African-Americans.

Full Story 
Ross Ramsey

The Runoffs: HD-84

The runoff between John Frullo and Mark Griffin shares one important characteristic with the adjacent race in HD-83: It pits inside-the-tent Lubbock Republicans against a coalition of social and libertarian conservatives who are distinctly unhappy with government in Washington and Texas. In that frame, Frullo's the insurgent and Griffin represents the establishment.

Full Story 
Reeve Hamilton

The Gay-Jesus Place

As part of a class assignment, a Tarleton State University theater student decided to direct an award-winning play in which the son of God is heralded as the "King of Queers." Then came the protests and threats of violence and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's press releases, and suddenly it was curtains for the whole production.

Full Story