Tribpedia: Higher Education

The Unkindest Cuts

One advocate says he feels "numb" at the thought of the state's community colleges slashing another 10 percent from their budgets at a time of record enrollment growth. Cuts in spending on facilities and equipment are likely coming, as KUT's Nathan Bernier reports.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

M. Smith's interview with the new chair of the Texas GOP, Philpott on Republicans and Tea Partiers living in harmony, Aguilar on Immigration and Customs Enforcement's not-yet-released strategic plan, Ramshaw's tragic tale of out-of-state kids in Texas treatment centers, Grissom on how budget cuts could impact juvenile justice, Stiles' awesome new population app, Galbraith on the decline of the Ogallala Aquifer, Hamilton's interview with the commissioner of higher education and the debut of Hu's new video debate series: The best of our best from June 14 to 19, 2010.

Texas Higher Education Chairman Raymund Paredes.
Texas Higher Education Chairman Raymund Paredes.

Raymund Paredes: The TT Interview

In 2000, higher education in Texas languished compared to other states, and a plan was adopted to “close the gaps” by 2015. A decade later, the commissioner of higher education tells the Tribune that bold steps still need to be taken. But can we afford to take them?

An Interview with Raymund Paredes

In 2000, Texas higher education in Texas was languishing behind other states and a plan was adopted to “close the gaps” by 2015. A decade later, Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes tells the Tribune that significant change is still needed.

The Weekly TribCast: Episode 33

Topics in this week's TribCast include the Texas GOP convention, the ongoing back-and-forth between the Perry and White camps, and the near-dissolution of the Big 12 conference.
University of Texas President Bill Powers announces UT's commitment to the Big 12 Conference.
University of Texas President Bill Powers announces UT's commitment to the Big 12 Conference.

TribBlog: "The Conference Formerly Known as the Big 12"

  • 1Comment

Now that the central question of tomorrow’s House Higher Ed Committee meeting on athletic conference realignments has been answered, Chairman Dan Branch says there's no need for the show to go on.

Going the Distance

  • 11Comments

Increasing numbers of college students are attending classes, and even completing some degree programs, online — an innovation that could be welcome in an era of rising enrollments and shrinking budgets. But virtual higher ed has its critics, who say the distance learning model will never match what one lawmaker terms the "interpersonal Aristotle style" of education.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Ramsey on what the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll says about the governor's race, education, immigration, and other issues; Grissom on a far West Texas county divided over Arizona's immigration law; Ramshaw talks health care reform and obesity in Texas with a legendary Dallas doctor; M. Smith on the Collin County community that's about to break ground on a $60 million high school football stadium; Aguilar on the backlog of cases in the federal immigration detention system; Philpott of the Green Party's plans to get back on the ballot; Hu on the latest in the Division of Workers' Comp contretemps; Mulvaney on the punishing process of getting compensated for time spent in jail when you didn't commit a crime; Hamilton on the fight over higher ed formula funding; and my sit-down with state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin: The best of our best from May 24-28, 2010.

Rep. Mike Villarreal during New Day Rising.
Rep. Mike Villarreal during New Day Rising.

Gaming the Systems

Should we base the funding of state universities on course completion rather than enrollment? The commissioner of higher education says yes. Some state lawmakers say no — not until we attack the manipulation of the financing formula by the higher ed lobby.

A Lousy Grade

More than two-thirds of Texans say their confidence in the state's public schools ranges from shaky to nonexistent, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. A majority of Texans believe that crime, low academic standards, lack of parental involvement and not enough funding are "major" problems that public schools face — but two-thirds say "too much religion in the schools" is not a problem.

Data App: More University Pay

  • 6Comments

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.

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.

A Voice but No Vote

  • 1Comment

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.

Texas Southern University had the state's lowest six-year graduation rate — 12 percent in the most recent data. But colleges throughout Texas have struggled to get more students to the finish line.
Texas Southern University had the state's lowest six-year graduation rate — 12 percent in the most recent data. But colleges throughout Texas have struggled to get more students to the finish line.

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.

Admiral Bobby Ray Inman
Admiral Bobby Ray Inman

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.

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.

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.

Borrow and Mend

  • 2Comments

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.