Tribpedia: Higher Education

There are 38 public universities and 50 community college districts in Texas.

According to the Handbook of Texas Online, a publication of the Texas State Historical Association, the leading public doctorate-granting institutions are the University of Texas and Texas A&M University, followed by the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Woman's University and Texas A&M University-Commerce. Private institutions with doctoral programs include Rice, Baylor, Southern Methodist and Texas Christian universities.

All public colleges and universities in Texas are governed by a board of regents composed of nine members, three of whom are appointed every two years by the governor for terms of six years each, subject to Texas Senate confirmation.

Legislators created the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 1965 as a regulatory body to oversee higher education in the state.  The board adopted its current name in 1987.

The largest public university system is the University of Texas System, which consists of academic components at Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Tyler, Arlington, Odessa (Permian Basin), Edinburg (Pan American) and Brownsville. The system also has health science centers at Dallas, Galveston, Houston and San Antonio, each of which includes a medical school, a school of allied health sciences, a graduate school of biomedical sciences and, except Dallas, a nursing school. The centers at Houston and San Antonio also have dental schools.

State funding for public academic institutions is based on formulas prepared by the coordinating board and based primarily on enrollments and semester credit hours.

Institutions under the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System depend on income from the Permanent University Fund for capital construction and certain other capital expenditures.

Other state universities receive money for construction from a special Higher Education Fund established by the Legislature for that purpose.

Until 2003, legislators controlled the amount of tuition students paid to attend public universities. Lawmakers gave universities the authority to set their own tuition rates in 2003, when they faced a nearly $10 billion state budget shortfall and knew they would not be able to give schools adequate resources. 

Tuition rates statewide have skyrocketed since that time, and legislators have chastised school officials for pushing the costs up. Some lawmakers have attempted to return tuition-setting authority to the Legislature, but those attempts so far have been unsuccessful.

Images

Pre-med sophomore Ricardo Gutierrez on the University of Houston campus in Houston on March 15, 2017. 
Pre-med sophomore Ricardo Gutierrez on the University of Houston campus in Houston on March 15, 2017.
John Lawler, a candidate for student body president at the University of Texas, talks with a student on the West Mall. Students listen to their instructor, Curtis Collins, during their Pumps, Compressors and Mechanical Drives class at Texas State Technical College Waco. Scott Smith checks out a coupling during his 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. A look at the sun setting over the University of Texas at Austin Tower in 2011. Paul Quinn College converted it's football field into a 2 acre farm. Michael J. Sorrell, the president of Paul Quinn College photographed in his office on the Paul Quinn College campus. Students cross a bridge over a resaca on the University of Texas Brownsville and Texas Southmost College campuses on Monday. Eagle Scout and high school graduate Will Clarkston, 20, logged in to The Bridge School from his bedroom in Houston on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. He is taking online classes now and planning to attend community college in the spring. Eagle scout and high-school graduate Will Clarkston, 20, logged into The Bridge School from his bedroom in Houston Tuesday, October 4, 2011. He is taking classes there get ahead before going to community college in the spring. The AlgaEternal Facility located on the University of Texas Pickle Research Campus with Chief Scientist Michael Jochum. Labs containing UTEX Culture Collection of Algae located on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Rep. Dan Branch R-Dallas and Sen. Judith Zaffirini D-Laredo, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence & Transparency during meeting on September 21st, 2011 Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Jeff Wentworth R-San Antonio during Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence & Transparency, September 21st, 2011 University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa during a Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency hearing on Sept. 21, 2011. University of Texas Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa during Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence & Tansparency on September 21st, 2011 Carlos Handy, Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics  at Texas Southern University, teach a Physics 2 class in Houston Wednesday, September 14, 2011. Jamie Schanbaum, a victim of bacterial meningitis, has had two vaccine-related bills named for her by the state legislature. Michael K. Crosno, myEdu CEO & Chairman / Founder Natalie Butler (upper left) is the student body president at University of Texas at Austin and a member of the executive committee of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education. Christopher Covo (lower left) is the director of America's Next Impact, a project of the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. Dr. Eva Garza-Nyer, a college counselor assisting Max Garcia and Znobea Williams on financial aids acceptance. Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, during debate on higher education bill SB5 on May 3, 2011. State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, listens to a colleague while discussing SB5 on April 28, 2011. State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, goes over SB5 higher education bill on the Senate floor on April 28, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry during higher education press conference on April 14th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry during higher education press conference April 14th, 2011 Hundreds of people shows up during rally for Texas Library, Apr 13th 2011. The University of Texas at Austin. Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio TCAC adviser, Allison Najera and Cynthia McCarty, head guidance counselor at Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio President Obama give "Hook'Em" sign before speech at UT-Austin. "Generation TX" stickers 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. Texas Higher Education Chairman Raymund Paredes. Texas Education Agency Logo

Sign Up for The Brief

Our daily news summary