Higher education

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Reeve Hamilton

TribBlog: Gay Jesus Resurrected

A theater student's production of Terrence McNally's play Corpus Christi — canceled amid protest at Tarleton State University — will see the stage after all, at Fort Worth's Rose Marine Theater, according to The Dallas Morning News.

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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.

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Tomorrow Never Dies

Lobbyists and lawmakers are fighting to preserve the terms of the contracts signed by parents who enrolled in the Texas Tomorrow Fund prepaid college tuition plan.

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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.

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House photo

TribBlog: McCall's Off to College [updated]

Brian McCall will apparently be the next chancellor of the Texas State University System. The board of regents picked the state representative, a Plano Republican, as the sole finalist to replace Charles Matthews in that job. They'll make They made the announcement on Monday.

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Skipping the Beach

Members of the UT-Austin University Democrats said goodbye to a Spring Break filled with fun in the sun... and hello to the vacant stares of congressional staffers today.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Thevenot on the non-stop wonder that is the State Board of Education and its latest efforts to set curriculum standards, E. Smith's post-election sit-down interview with Bill White at TribLive made some news and got the November pugilism started, Ramshaw on whether it makes sense for the state to call patients and remind them to take their pills, and on the state's botched attempt to save baby blood samples for medical research, Hamilton's interview with Steve Murdock on the state's demographic destiny, M. Smith on whooping cranes, fresh water, and an effort to use the endangered species act to protect them both, Grissom on potties, pickups, and other equipment purchased with federal homeland security money and Stiles' latest data and map on where that money went, Aguilar on the "voluntary fasting" protesting conditions and treatment at an immigrant detention facility, Kreighbaum on football, the new sport at UTSA, and Philpott on Rick Perry and Bill White retooling their appeals for the general election. The best of our best from March 8 to 12, 2010.

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