Tribpedia: Higher Education

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Galbraith's three-parter on the battle over wind power transmission lines, Grissom on a convicted killer who got probation, Aguilar on how the U.S. census counts inmates in the Texas prison system, Stiles launches a new interactive tool tracking the candidates for governor, Hamilton on the Texas A&M University System's latest accountability measure for faculty, Hu's interview with Democratic megadonor Steve "Back to Basics" Mostyn, Philpott on how the Texas economy compares to that of other states and Ramsey on the start of the 2010 election sprint: The best of our best from Sept. 6 to 10, 2010.

Charles Miller, chairman of the University of Texas Board of Regents, conducts a regular meeting on August 6, 2003 in San Antonio.
Charles Miller, chairman of the University of Texas Board of Regents, conducts a regular meeting on August 6, 2003 in San Antonio.

Charles Miller: The TT Interview

The former chairman of the UT System Board of Regents on why demography is destiny, why higher education isn't necessarily the key determinant of the state’s economic future, why Texas doesn't need more tier-one schools and how colleges abuse the financial aid system.

Accountability U.

Like a conglomerate auditing balance sheets, the Texas A&M University System has for six months been dissecting the financial contribution of every faculty member on its 11 campuses around the state, subtracting the salary of each from the tuition and research money he or she brings in. The resulting metrics present in stark detail exactly where the system gets the most and least bang for its payroll buck — and have raised the hackles of professors at all levels, who liken the approach to grading assembly-line workers on widget production.

Should Everybody Go to College?

Ask anybody — from the president of the United States to your high school guidance counselor — and you'll probably hear the same, seemingly obvious thing: Higher education is the key to financial advancement. But is everybody going to college a realistic goal? And would the world really be better if we achieved it? Mose Buchele of KUT News reports.
A National Guard soldier receives a seasonal flu shot in Virginia in 2009.
A National Guard soldier receives a seasonal flu shot in Virginia in 2009.

Off-Base?

The Texas commission charged with aiding economies hit by military base closures will spend millions for a vaccine plant in Bryan-College Station — even though the region’s military base closed nearly five decades ago.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Galbraith on grass, federal money and efforts to prevent another dust bowl, Ergenbright on school suspensions and who gets punished; Aguilar's interview with Alan Bersin, whose job is to keep the U.S./Mexico border secure, M. Smith on why it would be harder than you think to ditch the 14th Amendment, Adler and me on whether controversy is politically contagious, Ramshaw on the flap over funding for the state's institutions for the disabled (it's not about the money), my meditation on the state's fiscal woes (including a $1.3 billion deficit in the current budget), Philpott on proposed cuts to the state's food stamp program, Grissom on the push by Hidalgo County officials for a special election that might not be legal; Hamilton on the seven Texas universities that are making a play for Tier One status and Stiles on the mid-year cash-on-hand numbers reported by campaigns and political action committees: The best of our best from August 16 to 23, 2010.

The Tracks of Our Tiers

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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: In Case You Missed It

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.

Brian McCall: The TT Interview

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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.

President Obama at the University of Texas on Monday, August 9, 2010.
President Obama at the University of Texas on Monday, August 9, 2010.

Obamarama

In his first trip to the Texas capital as president, Barack Obama served up little news but plenty of red meat for supporters. Check out our pool report from his fundraiser and our audio, video and slideshow of his UT-Austin speech.

President Obama give "Hook'Em" sign before speech at UT-Austin.
President Obama give "Hook'Em" sign before speech at UT-Austin.

Obama Talks Higher Ed

President Obama wrapped up a trip to Austin this afternoon with a speech on higher education on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.
"Generation TX" stickers
"Generation TX" stickers

Learnstrong

Can a $3 million marketing campaign to promote higher education change the culture of a country-sized state in which just 27 percent of the population has a college degree or certificate? It worked for cancer ...

A Court Date for Hopwood 2.0

A panel of federal judges will hear arguments today for and against the University of Texas at Austin’s race-based admissions system, which the school has used for decades as part of what its "holistic" admissions program. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.
Brookings Institute Mapped Educational attainment nationwide. Texas ranks last — 51st — in the percentage of adults with high school diploma, largely due to rapid immigration growth. The state ranks significantly higher on college attainment.
Brookings Institute Mapped Educational attainment nationwide. Texas ranks last — 51st — in the percentage of adults with high school diploma, largely due to rapid immigration growth. The state ranks significantly higher on college attainment.

TribBlog: The 51st State

How can Texas rank last in the nation — 51st — in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas, and simultaneously rank 22nd in the percentage attending at least some college?

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Ramshaw's question about an insurance company denying coverage for an infant vaccine prompts a reversal; Stiles' new app lets you poke through mid-year campaign reports on donations and spending; Ramsey finds foreshadowing of the state's big fall races in the campaign finance reports; Aguilar interviews Henry Cisneros about current politics; Dawson finds Texas environmentalists getting advice from an unexpected place; Galbraith on "demand response" that might cut the need for power plants and on the next wave of electric cars; Aguilar on increasing trade through Texas ports of entry; M. Smith on affirmative action battles in higher education; Titus on Mexican college students' drift from border universities to UT-Austin and Texas A&M; and Hamilton on controversy over private, for-profit colleges: The best of our best for the week of July 19 to 23, 2010.

TribBlog: Storming the Tower

A group of environmental advocates is planning a protest on the UT campus tomorrow afternoon to express their displeasure with new tower-shaped plastic bottles.

Hopwood 2.0

A court case involving two University of Texas applicants who believe they were denied admission because they're white threatens to reinvigorate an ideological skirmish that peaked in the late 1990s. The first lawsuit of its kind brought against a university since a pair of landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2003, Fisher v. Texas has observers everywhere wondering if the state's troubled history with race-based admissions makes it the ideal incubator for the next round of affirmative action battles.

The "Career" Path

Private, for-profit colleges, which offer professional certificates at a steep cost, have come under fire for peddling big student loans to vulnerable Texans in exchange for credentials of dubious value.