President Obama is doing his best to blame his bad economic record on his Republican opponents.
Mr. Perry’s conservative views on business costs, states’ rights, job creation, energy policy and global competitiveness — the core of his governing philosophy — are illuminated most vividly in his clashes with the E.P.A. over issues like pesticide regulation and global warming.
From his earliest days as head of the Texas Department of Agriculture to his current campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, he has struck a consistent anti-regulatory chord.
He brags that he has significantly reduced air pollution over his decade-plus tenure by working with businesses and does not need new overbearing mandates from environmental nannies in Washington. Read more…
It happened this August. (The EPA busted five other operations at the same time.) Since then, Callicrate has issued media releases and held a press conference and tour of his Kansas feedlot. He says it’s clean as a whistle, and that the EPA is acting under the influence of big meat packers who are looking to drive guys like him out of business.
“This is discrimination,” Callicrate says from his Colorado Springs office. “The problem, to me, is the fear and intimidation that is caused by these tactics.”
The EPA, meanwhile, has been waging its own media battle. Last week, it even sent out a press release in response to Callicrate’s allegation that the agency considers hay a pollutant. (The EPA press release says that’s nonsense. However, upon further questioning, the agency says it does consider silage and grains to be polluting, since their runoff can starve water of oxygen.)
Anyway, the EPA violations include overfilling a retention pond, failure to cover the feedlot, failure to keep adequate records, and failure to conduct proper testing of manure used to fertilize grazing lands. Callicrate doesn’t argue that he was in violation, but he suspects bigger feedlots don’t face the same scrutiny.
EPA spokesperson Kris Lancaster says the agency checked in on Callicrate because of previous violations at the feedlot recorded by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. He also noted that Callicrate’s operation, which is permitted for 12,000 head of cattle (though only 3,200 were on the property at the time of inspection) is among the largest 5 percent of animal feeding operations in the region (Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri).
Fines could have reached $37,500 per day, per violation, but Lancaster says the EPA does not plan to levy any because Callicrate is working to comply with the order. The cattleman has hired Murrison Environmental, which does environmental consulting, engineering and land surveying, to help get him back into compliance. It will cost $10,000 to $15,000 up front, plus $4,000 to $5,000 annually, and an added $7,000 to $8,000 every five years. That’s if everything goes well. And then there’s hours of staff time to do all the added paperwork.
Scott Murrison, owner of Murrison Environmental, says he has 31 feedlot clients that range from small to large, and he’s seen how tough the industry has gotten.
“Mike’s in a pretty good position, where he can still hire someone to get him in compliance,” he says. “There’s a lot of small farms that just can’t.”
That sentiment is echoed by Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA, the second-largest trade association for the cattle industry, who has stood by Callicrate. He notes that Callicrate actually is the little guy — in 2010, 29 percent of all cattle were fattened at feedlots with a 50,000-plus cattle capacity. Guys like Callicrate are getting rarer, he says, as big meat packers seek to “vertically integrate” by either owning mega-feedlots, or controlling smaller feedlots through contracts that control everything from how the cattle is raised, to how much is paid for it. More than 40 percent of cattle operations have disappeared since 1980.
With pressures increasing and the market becoming less competitive, a tougher regulatory environment may push a lot of smaller farms off the edge, he says.
Posted by Shannon Rasberry
It’s getting harder to pay for college. Not only is the economy in bad shape and unemployment high, but now previously reliable sources of federal financial aid, including federal student loans and federal grants, are being cut or altered as part of ongoing budget negotiations in Washington. And more changes are likely on the way.
First, the 11th hour deal to approve the Budget Control Act of 2011, which raised the U.S. borrowing limit to avoid a debt default, resulted in a compromise to maintain the maximum Pell grant award of $5,500 by ending subsidies on federal student loans that paid the interest on loans for graduate students while they were in school. The compromise provided only $17 billion of the $18.3 billion shortfall faced by the Pell grant program, leaving a $1.3 billion shortfall for next year.
Now, the Senate is in the process of approving a U.S. Department of Education budget for fiscal year 2012 that would close the remaining Pell grant shortfall by ending interest subsidies for federal student loans during the six-month grace period after undergraduate students graduate or leave school. The proposed change is part of an effort to trim $1.5 trillion from the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years. Read more…
Over the last two years, they have proposed some of the most controversial rules and regulations that, even by their own accounting, have the potential of costing American companies tens of billions of dollars.
Unfortunately, too often, the overwhelming number and scope of these regulations results in each individual one being forgotten. I hope to use at least some of these Regulatory Roundups to highlight some of the most harmful EPA regulations. Read more…
“Hire the best, honor the mission, and measure the results.” The president of my university — the big one in Austin, with tower bathed perpetually in orange — has it right. That way lies academic greatness and prestige, assuming we all agree on the meaning of “best” and “mission,” and the means of measuring results.
The fun begins when disagreement arises — a common component of democratic, First Amendment-based discourse.
President William Powers, delivering his annual assessment of the state of the University of Texas, confesses himself weary of “contentious debate” over the university’s perceived slowness to confront and deal with modern challenges, such as fast-rising costs and ever-lengthening periods necessary for graduation.
So might Texans in general confess the same weariness. When the great majority of onlookers, researchers, and commentators pursue the very same goal — academic excellence, in the present case — unity serves the purpose better than discord. The latter condition obtains, generally speaking, when insiders fancy themselves under siege by odoriferous yahoos hurling beer bottles instead of bearing constructively framed suggestions for change.
An urgent point for consideration is that no one I know of has ever suggested the University of Texas at Austin is a place of academic degeneracy, ripe for the fate the Romans visited on Carthage. It’s a great place, UT. Hook ‘em! Read more…
by Lindsay Field
The ACT is seeing growing popularity among Marietta and Cobb County school district students. In 2011, 41 percent of Cobb seniors took the ACT, compared to 31 percent in 2007, according to the district’s website. At the same time, SATs participation has dropped, with 81 percent taking them in 2011, compared to 82 percent in 2007.
For the same time period, Marietta High School has seen a 36 percent increase in students taking the ACT, compared to a 7.45 percent increase on the SAT, said Principal Leigh Colburn.
Cobb’s chief academic officer Dr. Judi Jones said more colleges and universities are accepting ACT scores for admissions.
“For many years Georgia was primarily an SAT state because that was the main assessment accepted by post-secondary institutions when students applied for admission. The test scores are still included as part of the student’s profile, but it is not the main reason why a student would be accepted. Post-secondary institutions still require a test score, but they are more willing to accept either an SAT or an ACT score. Many students now routinely take both.” Read more…
BY NICOLAS LORIS -
The current ozone standard of 84 parts per billion (the concentration of ozone in the air over an 8-hour period—a drop of gasoline in a tanker truck is one ppb) prevailed while the EPA tried to implement even stricter rules, but since President Obama scrapped those plans, the EPA is moving to enforce the 75 ppb that was adopted in 2008.
The costs for states and areas to comply with a tightened ozone standard are substantial, and it will increase the number of areas in nonattainment—areas in which ozone standards are higher than the regulated amount. These federal mandates can discourage companies from expanding or force them to implement costly emission-reduction technologies. The Wall Street Journal reports:
There are 52 areas where air quality fails to meet the 2008 standard, the EPA said in a memo to state officials. Among them are Baltimore, San Diego, Dallas-Fort Worth and parts of Los Angeles. Ms. Jackson said the EPA would enforce the standard in a “common-sense way” to minimize the burden on state and local governments. The Bush-era standard, while more lenient than the 60 to 70 parts-per-billion level considered by the Obama administration, would still harm the economy, according to business groups. Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, said 75 parts per billion would be costly to implement and damaging to job creation. “The tighter the standards get, they become a much larger hurdle to meet,” Mr. Feldman said.
The massive costs of tightening the standard have outweighed the negligible environmental benefits in the past, and enforcing the 75 ppb will have diminishing marginal returns—possibly to the vanishing point. Even the EPA acknowledged lowering the ozone standard to 70 ppb would only lower asthma and respiratory diseases a few tenths of a percent. Enforcing a standard of 75 ppb would have a similar marginal benefit.
It’s important to note that the causality between a more stringent ozone standard and better health effects is unclear, to say the least. The American Enterprise Institute’s Joel Schwartz and the National Center for Policy Analysis’ Sterling Burnett write:
The most serious charge against ozone is that it kills thousands of people prematurely each year. But, like most other claims of harm from low-level air pollution, this one rests on indirect evidence from so-called “observational” epidemiology studies–studies in which researchers look for correlations between air pollution and risk of death in large groups of people. Evidence shows that observational studies give spurious results, often “finding” effects that aren’t really there, and producing results that reflect researchers’ expectations, rather than reality.
Both animal and human laboratory studies demonstrate that real-world ozone exposures aren’t deadly. For instance: Animals exposed by researchers to 10 times the ozone levels found in the most polluted American cities did not die. In laboratory studies, college student volunteers who breathed controlled concentrations of ozone 50 percent greater than the current standard while vigorously exercising for six hours registered only small, short-term changes in lung function.
What is clear and well established, however, is that improved economic well-being means that people are healthier and live longer. A tighter ozone rule will slow economic growth and reduce economic well-being.
The current ozone standard set by EPA is already more stringent than it needs to be and provides more than enough protection for citizens’ health. President Obama made the right decision when he asked Jackson to withdraw the agency’s draft for even stricter ozone standards. If the President wants to provide regulatory certainty and not increase businesses’ costs, he should tell the EPA to keep the ozone standard where it is.
te that real-world ozone exposures aren’t deadly. For instance: Animals exposed by researchers to 10 times the ozone levels found in the most polluted American cities did not die. In laboratory studies, college student volunteers who breathed controlled concentrations of ozone 50 percent greater than the current standard while vigorously exercising for six hours registered only small, short-term changes in lung function.
By Charles T. Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association
A recent report by the National Petroleum Council says the United States has a more abundant supply of oil and natural gas than previously believed. The report concludes that by 2035 America could be producing 2 million to 3 million barrels of oil per day from shale formations, including the Bakken shale in North Dakota and Montana and the Eagle Ford shale in Texas.
The Sept. 15 report forecasts that under the most optimistic assumptions, America and Canada combined could produce up to 22.5 million barrels of oil per day, if the U.S. lifts regulatory barriers. This would allow America to reduce its reliance on oil from other parts of the world.
The National Petroleum Council study is consistent with a study issued Sept. 7 by Wood Mackenzie for the American Petroleum Institute. That study concluded that 1.1 million new American jobs could be created by 2020 if regulatory reforms are adopted to give American companies greater access to the treasure trove of oil and natural gas buried under our nation and off our shores.
The Wood Mackenzie study also found that government revenues would rise by $127 billion by 2020 if this increased oil and gas production takes places.
With high unemployment continuing to drag down the U.S. economy and devastate millions of American families, American fuel and petrochemical manufacturers are ready to join with companies producing oil and natural gas to do our part to help our country start down the road to economic recovery and increased employment.
Right now, we’re doing all we can to strengthen America’s economic and national security by ensuring that nearly all the fuels Americans rely on continue to be manufactured right here in America, by American workers.
We don’t want to see more American manufacturing jobs exported, forcing more Americans onto the unemployment rolls and forcing families to spend more money to buy imported products no longer manufactured right here at home.
But unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies seem determined to impose extreme and unwarranted regulations that will do nothing significant to improve the environment – but would make U.S. refiners far less competitive with refiners in foreign lands.
And President Obama seems to never tire of proposing new energy taxes that would destroy American jobs by disadvantaging U.S. manufacturers of fuels and petrochemicals and U.S. companies that produce oil and natural gas against foreign competitors.
The American oil and natural gas sector supports more than 9 million American jobs – and can create many more if only President Obama will stop throwing regulatory roadblocks and proposed tax increases in our path.
We don’t get subsidies and don’t get special tax breaks. We simply get tax deductions that are comparable to – and in some cases more limited than – the deductions other American businesses get.
Oil, natural gas, refining and petrochemical companies are some of the biggest taxpayers and biggest employers in America. We contribute hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes and fees to government at the federal, state and local levels.
These companies simply want to be treated like other American companies when it comes to paying taxes. We don’t seek preferential treatment – just equal treatment.
Instead of setting up confrontations with energy companies, President Obama and Congress should cooperate with the companies to strengthen America’s economy. The best way to get more tax revenues from oil and gas producers and fuel and petrochemical manufacturers is to let us produce and manufacture more. The more we earn, the more people we can hire and the more taxes we and our workers pay.
It’s time for America to develop an energy policy based on reality rather than ideology, grounded in what works rather than in hopes and dreams.
America is not energy poor – we are energy rich. Every American would be better off if our leaders would give us greater access to American energy and allow us to manufacture more fuels and petrochemicals in America, free of overregulation and discriminatory taxation.
Charles T. Drevna is president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association.
Author: Bryan Clark
In the past online degrees from for-profit colleges and universities were viewed as subpar alternatives to their brick-and-mortar brethren. In a study of 449 human resource professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management released in September indicates that 87-percent regard online degrees in a more favorable light than they did merely five years ago. Degrees from top online universities were viewed even more favorably.
In the past, the biggest gripe with for-profit universities was that they recruited their students, and often these students were minorities. Now, minorities make up around 40-percent of all online students, which is much closer to the 28-percent that offline universities enroll. Recruiting standards have also been tightened as the federal government made it illegal to pay headhunters, or recruiters bonuses based on each student, or how many students they enroll online.
Regulation for the “wild wild west” of the college world can only help things as most of us are working more hours than ever, and few have the time or money to attend an offline campus once we’ve started a career.
Big players like the University of Phoenix, and Kaplan University dominate the cyber education world and offer courses in everything from web design to information technology. Trying to bridge the gap between a traditional four year college and an online school, the University of Phoenix, as well as many others have begun the arduous process of creating offline schools as satellite campuses of the main online school. This is just one of many things that the so-called electronic universities are doing to help improve their image. No one would argue that it doesn’t work, I assure you. Having a physical campus as well as an online program certainly makes you look more legitimate.
Read more: http://technorati.com/business/article/top-online-universities-are-leading-the/#ixzz1Z9dPAOSr
Gov. Rick Scott and state legislators are pondering big changes in higher education, including limits on tenure for professors at public universities. But there’s another issue that’s begging for attention: the rising rate of student loan defaults at universities and colleges in Florida.
Figures released by the U.S. Department of Education this month showed more than one in 10 Floridians required to start repaying student loans in 2009 had defaulted by the end of last year. The state’s 10.5 percent default rate topped the national rate of 8.8 percent, and made Florida the ninth worst state for students going belly up on their loans.
Defaults can be disastrous for students — ruining their credit; impairing their ability to buy a car or rent an apartment so they can live independently; and disqualifying them from federal aid if they ever try to go back to school. These students can become a permanent drag on the economy
Defaults also are bad news for taxpayers. Billions in student loans are guaranteed by the federal government, so when students don’t repay them, taxpayers take the hit. Read more…
By Andrew Stiles
The report highlights a litany of GOP-backed bills that would eliminate restrictive government policies and regulations concerning domestic energy production and exploration, domestic mining, agriculture, forestry, and other industries common — but by no means limited — to Western states. The goal, they write, is “to replace Washington’s broken promises with America’s boldness.”
LAWRENCE MESSINA, Associated Press
The Kanawha County Courthouse session drew the chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Mineral Resources subcommittee, Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn, and a fellow Republican member, Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio. Part of the House’s Natural Resources Committee, the subcommittee has 25 members.
Monday’s field hearing focused on the administration’s ongoing review of regulations that aim to protect streams from rock, dirt and other mining debris. Nine of the 11 witnesses echoed concerns from Johnson and Lamborn that the U.S. Office of Surface Mining has mishandled the potential re-writing of standards adopted in 2008. Read more…
By Alan Gomez and Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY
GOP freshmen sponsored four of the six bills House Republican leaders plan to bring to the full chamber this fall, starting this week with an effort by South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott to bar the National Labor Relations Board from restricting where a company can locate jobs. It would nullify the board’s recent decision restricting Boeing’s effort to build its 787 Dreamliner airplane at a nonunion assembly plant in South Carolina. Read more…
Kate Dargie, 23, said money she saved by getting her two-year degree at Central Maine Community College helped her become a homeowner. Dargie, who works in communications at the college, is among a growing number of students who picked a community college after the Maine Technical College System became the Maine Community College System in 2003. Dargie is working on her bachelor’s degree online through St. Joseph’s College.
After he got out of the U.S. Coast Guard, Ronald Fowler, 28, enrolled in a criminal justice program at Central Maine Community College in Auburn. Fowler said the affordability of the community college was important. Fowler plans to get his bachelor’s degree through St. Joseph’s College.
Benjamin Franklin is credited with the old adage, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” People are always trying to add to that very short list of certainty and I’m no exception. With apologies to Mr. Franklin then, I suggest the list now read, “death, taxes and enrollment increases at North Idaho College.”
Once again this fall, NIC is serving more students than ever before. Enrollment in our credit courses is at an all-time high of 6,751 students. This year’s enrollment is 6.4 percent higher than fall of 2010. However, for the four-year period from the fall of 2007, it is a mind-blowing 45 percent increase.
The economic conditions are a key contributor driving students to enroll at North Idaho College. But I would argue that’s not the only reason. In survey after survey, students have identified the most important reasons why they choose to attend community colleges: affordability, availability of classes and open access.
Affordability while maintaining quality is a hallmark of community colleges. The average annual tuition and fees for a full-time student at a community college is about 30 percent of the cost of a public four-year college or university and 11 percent of the cost at a private institution. During the current economic downturn, the affordability of NIC has remained a key attraction as our tuition and fee increases have been significantly less than those of the four-year institutions in Idaho.
However, availability of classes is being challenged by our rapid enrollment growth. This situation has been creeping up on us over several years, but has become a serious concern this fall. Over the past several years of double-digit enrollment growth, we have been adding classes, expanding the number of seats in almost all class sections, hiring more faculty and developing better ways to schedule classroom utilization. All of this was done in a “catch-up” mode as we struggled to increase class availability to match the rapidly rising enrollment. In a perfect world, anyone who is accepted at NIC would be able to fill their schedules with the classes they want and need. But unfortunately, there are a finite number of hours in a day that classes can be scheduled and each student has a different life situation that limits the time slots for them to take classes. Add in the very real dilemma that many classes that students need or want may be offered at the same time, and you can see the difficulty of ensuring that students can schedule the classes they need when they need them. And, despite the increased availability of what we refer to as eLearning – Internet courses, interactive video conferencing and hybrid courses – many students are unable to get the courses they need when they have time available to take them.
Accessibility recognizes that community colleges do not have exclusive admissions standards that require high results on admissions tests or that potential students must have a high grade point average in high school. Basically, anyone with a high school diploma or equivalent can enroll. But given the challenges facing availability outlined earlier, I think it is clear that we are reaching a point where our rapid enrollment growth has outpaced our ability to meet these ideals. We continue to admit students who apply, but they then have a great deal of difficulty finding a full schedule of classes. The consequences for new and continuing students include taking fewer classes than desired and extending the time necessary to complete their programs. I’m sure you’ve heard that “time is money.” That rings particularly true for these students; adding time to their education certainly raises the cost of it.
In an effort to better manage growth and do our best to prime students to be as successful as possible in their pursuit of education and training, NIC instituted several new guidelines this semester. Those applying for fall semester needed to do so by a new application deadline, which would allow time for orientation, advising, registration and other services. The college also instituted a waitlist this year to more accurately track student demand for particular courses so that new sections could be added if necessary.
Like other community colleges across the nation, North Idaho College was founded on and continues to be committed to the ideals of affordability, accessibility and availability. While skyrocketing enrollment challenges all three right now, we will continue to find new and innovative ways to provide life-changing education and training to those who wish to attend. The economy is what is driving people to our doorstep, and it’s the economy that will benefit on the other side, as educated, skilled workers go on to become members of our community and nation.
Credit: JAY HARE / DOTHAN EAGLE
Caroline Franklin, a theatre major, studies on her laptop inside the book store at Troy University on Tuesday afternoon.
Ariel Tillman has only been in college for a short time, but she’s already feeling the squeeze from rising education costs.
Tillman, a 2011 Northview High School graduate, attends the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she’s studying psychology. Tillman said that between the time she applied for school and started classes, tuition has increased, and it’s likely to go up again next year.
Tillman said as the daughter of a single, working mother, finding a way to finance her education without leaving school deeply in debt is tough.
“It’s very stressful,” she said.
In Alabama, tuition and fee rates have been rising for the past decade. According to the Southern Regional Education Board, tuition and fee revenues for Alabama public universities rose by 16 percent between the 2008 and 2010 fiscal years. Tuition and fee revenues for public universities in the SREB region, which covers 14 southeastern states, rose by about 17 percent in the same time period.
“It’s very widespread for both independent and public colleges that their tuition and fees have been going up faster than inflation for quite some time,” Joe Marks, director of the SREB’s educational data services, said.
Matt Denhart, administrative director for the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, said there are several factors driving tuition and fees up, including diminishing revenues from states strapped for cash, costs related to providing increased services to students and rising health care costs for employees. Read more…
By Elizabeth Hsing-Huei Chou, EGP Staff Writer
More than 700 people descended on Commerce this past weekend with one mission in mind – getting to college in one piece.
The annual Commerce to College Fair attracted motivated middle-schoolers, as well as people over the age of 40 looking to brush up on their professional skills. But the often complicated, expensive and stressful process of getting to college was felt the most by students in their junior or senior year of high school.
These college-bound students will be working through holiday festivities and regular schoolwork, either studying for their SATs and ACTs, or working on essays and applications for University of California and Cal State schools, due November 30, and for private colleges, due in January.
High school senior Rebecca Espinoza said the magnitude of the college application process only just hit her this year. “It’s really stressful, because it’s all happening so fast,” she said. Read more…
Before they will lend thousands of dollars to a college-bound 18-year-old, around 80% of private lenders require a co-signer, according to the Consumer Bankers Association. Typically, that’s a parent or another relative, but it can be anyone willing to take responsibility for paying back the loan. Private lenders often tout the benefit of an adult cosigner, saying that because students don’t have much of a credit history, the a co-signer’s good standing can help secure a lower interest rate. That’s true, but it also puts the student at the mercy of the parent’s credit history, which may not be so stable these days.
And if a parent’s credit standing falls, the interest rates families get on private loan when the student is a freshman in college might be the lowest they’ll ever see. Each year a student applies for a private loan, the lender takes a fresh look at his cosigner’s credit profile. If the lender sees a lower credit score, more debt or missed payments to other lenders, it will likely offer a higher interest rate on a loan than it did when the student was a freshman in college. Falling credit is a sign of a riskier borrower, says a spokeswoman for the CBA, which warrants higher rates. Read more…
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, grilled officials from the departments of Energy and Labor during his hearing Thursday. The meeting quickly turned into a forum for Republicans to vent their frustration with the government’s subsidization of the clean-energy sector, in the wake of a controversy over loans to a now-bankrupt solar firm. Read more…
Brazil has begun building its first nuclear submarine to protect its vast, new offshore oil discoveries. Colombia’s oil production is climbing so fast that it is closing in on Algeria’s and could hit Libya’s prewar levels in a few years. ExxonMobil is striking new deals in Argentina, which recently heralded its biggest oil discovery since the 1980s. – NY Times as Back in Oil Companies’ Sights ..
Dominant Social Theme: The world is running out of oil. Renewables are the ticket. People will have to make do with less.
Free-Market Analysis: It wasn’t supposed to be this way. By now, Peak Oil was supposed to be a fact of daily life. People were supposed to be lined up at gas stations, struggling to buy US$10-a-gallon gas. Solar and wind companies were supposed to occupy prominent places on the Big Board instead of going out of business right and left.
People were supposed to have diminished expectations – resigned to shivering in the dark. Free markets, a flawed system of commerce, were to be exposed as a misleading theoretical construct, incapable of providing for people’s needs. The Invisible Hand, while real, could not combat an equally real and disturbing fact: The world was running out of resources.
But not according to this recent article in the New York Times. Yes, THAT New York Times, the newspaper of record that has spent the past decade banging the drum for Peak Oil – the idea that the world is running out of energy and that people will have to lower their expectations about how to live and perhaps abandon modern society altogether. Read more…
The letter raises a number of difficult-to-answer questions surrounding Times standards that appear to have been violated by reporter Ian Urbina in two recent articles on shale gas (‘Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush,’ June 25 and ‘Behind Veneer, Doubt of Future of Natural Gas,’ June 26). The reports, which relied heavily on anonymous sourcing, rattled energy markets and raised the ire of federal regulators by suggesting the gas industry and the government were grossly exaggerating shale gas reserves for the purposes of maximizing short-term investment. Read more…
Admissions counselors like to talk about finding the right “fit” for applicants — a great match between a student’s educational and other goals and an institution’s programs. But a new survey of the senior admissions officials at colleges nationwide finds that this “fit” is, from many colleges’ point of view, increasingly about money. As evidence of that pressure, the survey found that:
Inside Higher Ed is releasing the survey results today, as admissions leaders nationwide prepare to travel to New Orleans for the annual meeting of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Admissions directors were given full anonymity to encourage frank answers. Read more…
As we get ready for the 93rd year of universal public education, here’s the question every parent and taxpayer needs to wrestle with: Are we going to applaud, push or even permit our schools (including most of the private ones) to continue the safe but ultimately doomed strategy of churning out predictable, testable and mediocre factory-workers?
Bingo. Of course, if you’ve read Transforming Education enough, this notion of the “factory” model of education should ring a bell.
The last time I checked, Godin’s blog post had gotten “liked” almost 8,000 times on Facebook and retweeted almost 1,500 times. It’s Godin, so no huge surprise there. But what’s important is that more thought leaders like Godin spread this idea around, because it’s a real issue affecting the futures of millions of students, parents, taxpayers, and teachers. Many are resistant to substantial, fundamental changes in education—that’s why people like Godin, who’ve built such large followings, are essential to the cause. Read more…
Montreux Energy’s 7th annual California Clean Energy Roundtable continues as an invitation-only, interactive stakeholder workshop featuring many recognized experts, thought leaders and stakeholders from industry, government, academia, research and investment to discuss the future of clean, low-carbon power and transportation in California. Read more…
By MIKE DE SOUZA, Postmedia News
They are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s government to focus on pipelines and electric grids that secure Canadian energy from east to west instead of shipping tens of thousands of jobs to refineries down south. Read more…
FORTUNE — The best wind in America is in Wyoming. It is a door-snapping, heart-pounding wind that barrels in from the west, chasing the truckers along Interstate 80 as they race to make Omaha by nightfall. It is sometimes described with words ordinarily associated with dark chocolate or exceptional pinot noir. It has been called dense, world-class, consistently extraordinary, special, and fabulous. Read more…
The orientation brought together nationally-acclaimed experts in numerous policy fields to discuss the future of our state and nation along with Texas lawmakers, staff and other interested parties.
The Orientation included many panel sessions, including “Choice or Regulation? Consumer Protection and Markets” which discussed how over the past ten years, the electricity, insurance, and telecommunications industries have to varying degrees moved in the direction of less government regulation. With the Sunset Review in process, there has been discussion on whether the Texas regulation efforts on these industries have been successful, and whether there is a need for more or less regulation.
“Texas has one of the best deregulation models in the country,” said panelist Joseph Bast, President and CEO of the Heartland Institute. “Texas got it right – with more competition and choice than any other state.”
Bast explained how Texas has proven to be one of the best success stories of electric competition, with the evidence that prices have been kept in check by competition. Read more…
By RUSSELL GOLD
The chief executive of Frac Tech International LLC, a relatively small oilfield services company, earned $24.4 million in 2010, putting him among the highest paid U.S. executives.
Marcus Rowland, who was hired as the closely-held company’s president in November and promoted to CEO in May, earned more than any publicly-traded energy company executive in the U.S. last year. The Fort Worth, Texas, company disclosed his pay this month as part of regulatory filings in preparation for an initial public offering of shares.
By Morgan Lee
Interested in the military’s new clean energy strategy?
Tapping this resource will create jobs and boost an ailing economy. More affordable energy will support additional business formation and growth. The role of the government is to regulate—not over-regulate and hamper—natural gas production. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking)—which has never been shown to cause environmental damage—should not be held hostage to unfounded concerns and narrow interests. U.S. policymakers should focus on commonsense access and reasonable safety measures—not burdensome over-regulation and market-distorting subsidies.
I know, I know: a politician proposing possible solutions for meeting our nation’s energy needs. Is there a more frightening thought? Read more…
With Texas Gov. Rick Perry at–or near the top–in polls to be the Republican nominee for President, his proposals for higher ed reform as Governor are gaining attention (if that is even possible, given that his proposals–especially his call for a $10,000 bachelor’s degree–had already garnered extensive media coverage). With Gov. Perry’s ideas in the background, a raging debate has swept through the higher ed sector in the State of Texas over the past year (CCAP fanned the flames a bit when we released our preliminary analysis of faculty teaching and research “productivity” at the University of Texas at Austin).
In response to the calls for increased transparency and accountability for the public colleges and universities in Texas, the University of Texas system’s chancellor, Francisco G. Cigarroa, drafted a plan, which the UT Board of Regents subsequently adopted. The plan, as the Chronicle put it, “responds to calls for more transparency about the performance of its campuses and spends $243.6-million to raise four-year graduation rates, expand the use of technology, and improve efficiency throughout the system.” Ironically, perhaps, is that the most remarkable feature of this plan wasn’t anything actually in it as much as the fact that it earned extensive praise from groups who fiercely opposed each other during the debate over faculty productivity.
Despite the bipartisan support for Chancellor Cigarroa’s plan (and there are certainly a number of components in this plan which are laudatory), in terms of the substance, it is “disappointing,” according to Robert C. Koons, professor of philosophy at UT-Austin. As he argued in an essay for Minding the Campus:
when we dig down to the details, we find that all that is being demanded of the System’s bureaucrats is that they go on doing bureaucratic things, like “completing action plans”, “approving tuition policies”, “hiring experts”, “identify strategies,” and so on. The Plan reads like something written, not only by a committee, but by an entire panoply of committees—which is actually the case.
I think Professor Koons makes a good point here: why should we expect a highly bureaucratic approach in this instance to end up with improved accountability? Couldn’t this approach wind up resulting in less transparency? It reminds me of the story Richard Vedder is fond of retelling, of how the State of Ohio told its public colleges and universities that faculty teaching needed to increase by 10%. His university, predictably, formed a committee to look into the issue and eventually decided not to do anything about it, though he would joke that to ensure compliance with the law, he “talked 10% faster in class than he did in the past.” Improvements in higher ed accountability requires much, much more than a generic statement in support of transparency. Read more…
Written by Libby A. Nelson
New federal requirements have lately been likely to draw groans and complaints from college and university officials who feel deluged by ever-changing rules and regulations. But one change taking effect later this year has found many colleges ready, even eager, to comply.
The requirement that colleges display “net price calculators,” which prospective students can use to estimate how much they will have to pay after federal or institutional grants, has become the rare mandate that many colleges have embraced — and that a small private industry has sprung up to help fulfill.
The calculators are seen as a boon for admissions officers, who want to use them to reach prospective students, and for financial aid advisers, who see them as a starting point; they are even seen as a way to reshape institutional aid and pricing policies by making practices more transparent. (Some admissions experts are more skeptical. See this Views essay from Inside Higher Ed that ran last year.)
Whether they will accomplish any of that, or just become another tool for students already savvy about the admissions and financial aid process, is not yet clear. “We are very much in the early stages here in terms of really understanding how best to use this,” said Peter S. Bryant, a senior vice president with Noel-Levitz, a consulting firm offering its own version of the net price calculator. Read more…
By Keith Fletcher
What on earth is that elephant?
There are lots of guesses out there, complete with a multitude of highly-placed, knowledgeable, involved, anonymous sources confirming it all.
Truth is – nobody knows.
Is it the legality, the Baylor factor?
Baylor president Ken Starr, partnered with deep-pocketed alumnus donor Walter Umphrey, have refused to sign away the university’s rights to sue any conference or school for financial damages that may incur Baylor. Other Big 12 schools have apparently done the same. If the Big 12 falls apart as a result of schools leaving, thus voiding the recent 13-year, billion dollar-plus deal with FOX Sports, there would be significant financial damages.
Starr and Umphrey may not be names to raise an eyebrow with some people. Starr was, among other things, the appointed independent counsel that led to President Bill Clinton‘s impeachment. Umphrey, among other things, essentially invented big tobacco litigation and split the fees of a $17.3 billion settlement with the tobacco companies. His name adorns the Baylor Law School, which he ponied up $10 million to help build.
These are not incidental players from the intramural circuit of law making trivial threats.
Is it Texas?
By Robert C. Koons
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The Chancellor of the University of Texas system has issued a disappointing response to pressure from the public and Governor Rick Perry for greater accountability on the system’s nine campuses. The Plan is packed with words like “action items”, “goals”, “metrics” & “responsible parties”, all designed to give the casual reader the impression that UT is serious about producing real results.
Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa”s “Framework for Advancing Excellence,” although approved unanimously by the Regents and praised even by some conservative activists, represents the same educational administrative mindset that has produced decades of spiraling costs and falling standards.
When we dig down to the details, however, we find that all that is being demanded of the System’s bureaucrats is that they go on doing bureaucratic things, like “completing action plans”, “approving tuition policies”, “hiring experts”, “identify strategies,” and so on. The Plan reads like something written, not only by a committee, but by an entire panoply of committees—which is actually the case.
Apart from the unsurprising idea of obtaining more money from donors, there is only one real goal in the entire Plan: a commitment to raise graduation rates. Is this real accountability? Hardly.
Raising graduation rates is precisely the metric that every administrator desires, since administrators, who award the degrees, can raise the graduation rates without improving the system in the slightest. They don’thave to make professors work harder or (more importantly) smarter at teaching. All they have to do is encourage them to drop academic standards still further. Read more…
After the UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s speech and the UT regents blessing for his plan, we thought the UT controversy was over and progress now could be made in moving forward with positive measures. Apparently UT president Bill Powers wants to keep the fight going – all in our opinion to the detriment of the students, parents and taxpayers in an effort to continue with the status quo of rising fees.
In the article by Reeve Hamilton of the Texas Tribune titled – “President Bill Powers: We Are a House Divided” it appears he actually does have his, “head in the sand” and his “feet dug in against change.”
Read and decide for yourself.
Update: University of Texas President Bill Powers stuck to his prepared remarks (scroll down to view), and the audience — made up mostly of UT faculty, students, and boosters — responded enthusiastically. Powers’ expressions of support for the faculty and his reference to Gov. Rick Perry‘s $10,000-degree challenge met with the biggest responses.
Original Story: University of Texas President Bill Powers isn’t mincing words in his State of the University address, scheduled for this afternoon. According to prepared remarks distributed before the speech (and subject to change), he takes head-on the controversy that has dogged the state’s higher education community for several months.
“To paraphrase Lincoln, we are a house divided about our fundamental mission and character,” he says.
In the remarks, Powers prescribes his own path to bring people back together and implement transformational changes to higher education. He also takes some thinly veiled swipes at those that have criticized the university in recent months, including Rick O’Donnell, the controversial former adviser to the University of Texas System whose hiring sparked much of the controversy.
Months after his position was unceremoniously eliminated, O’Donnell released an analysis of UT data that grouped professors into different categories based on productivity. “Dodgers” were a particularly unproductive subset of the unproductive group he termed “coasters.” This did not go over well at UT.
Powers calls for a tone that is more respectful of faculty. “The tone of discussion would take a positive turn if everyone in the UT family — even those who call for more extensive change — would publicly defend our faculty and our campus from outside attacks,” he says.
He disputes the notion that UT has its “head in the sand” or its “feet dug in against change.” He also answers Gov. Rick Perry’s challenge for universities to create a $10,000 bachelor’s degree, noting that a quarter of current freshmen — after scholarships and grants — pay less than $2,500 per year for their UT education.
Powers’ speech includes a few bold challenges of his own. Playing off remarks he made in May calling for the university to raise its four-year graduation rate to 70 percent from its current perch around 53 percent. Today, he calls for that to happen in five years. Read more…
Written by Wick Allison in D Magazine
Last month I endorsed the questions Jeff Sandefer has raised about the performance of our two major public universities. In answer to those questions, UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa presented a “Framework for Advancing Excellence,” which was endorsed unanimously by the Board of Regents and praised widely by editorial writers.
The Plan is packed with words like “action items”, “goals”, “metrics”, and “responsible parties”, all designed to give the casual reader the impression that UT is serious about producing real results.
But the impression is false, because it avoids real accountability for results:
Accountability requires clear and simple goals. Here are two to consider, in place of the Plan’s seventy bullet points: First, each campus shall increase its seniors’ average scores on the Collegiate Learning Assessment by 2% each year for the next ten years (controlling for variations in the aptitudes of entering students). Second, for each year of the same period, each campus shall reduce the total instructional cost per student-hour by 3%.
Koons notes that Oxford and Cambridge, two of the finest universities in the world, require exams to measure students’ proficiency in their chosen fields. Those results are published, and the standards are public. Their plan is simple, it is objective, and it is transparent — versus a seventy-point plan that will be filed away as soon as the heat dies down.
My message to the University of Texas: no guts, no glory. Academic obfuscation accomplishes nothing, as perhaps it is meant to. A Board of Regents that is committed to taking the UT System into the top ten of American public universities would pay very close heed to what Professor Koons is telling them. Read more…
By Danny Serna
The report, published by the New Haven-based non-profit Connecticut Voices for Children, shows that Connecticut lost 119,000 jobs in the 22-month recession, and that young people, Hispanics and African-Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed at higher rates than the general population. Additionally, the study showed that recent college graduates in Connecticut were having difficulty finding stable, long-term employment within the first year of graduation.
“[College graduates] will get a job,” said Orlando Rodriguez, a policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children and one of the study’s authors. “It’s just going to take longer and you’re going to work harder at it.”
And while they wait for that long-term career to come along, more and more graduates are turning to part-time employment. Among recent graduates from the Connecticut State University system, the school on which this portion of the study is based, unemployment jumped from 5 percent to 10 percent from 2006 to 2010. Part-time employment among recent CSU graduates jumped 12 points, from 16 to 28 percent, while the percentage of students holding full-time jobs dropped from 79 percent to 62 percent. Rodriguez said he had seen similar figures from the University of Connecticut. Yale data was not included in the study.
The study, which the institute publishes each year around Labor Day, also showed that urban areas and rural towns were impacted most adversely by the recession. New Haven is no exception — the city posted the state’s fourth-highest unemployment rate in June 2011, at 13.8 percent. The city also saw the second-highest change in unemployment at 6 percent.
Still, Rodriguez said New Haven was in the “middle of the pack” in terms of job loss. And in response to the growing unemployment, Kelly Murphy, the city’s director of economic development, pointed out that the city had actually seen enough job growth since the end of the recession to erase any recession-era job losses. She also pointed out that Connecticut has still not recovered jobs lost in the recession of the late 1980s. Read more…
Written by Juan Prado
Everyone at The University of Texas Pan-American must work together to make UTPA an “agent of transformation” for the entire Rio Grande Valley, President Robert S. Nelsen said Friday in his upbeat Fall Convocation address to faculty and staff.
“We must harness the brain power of our faculty and the energy of our students and engage with the Valley so that we can change not only our students’ lives, but also the lives of everyone — and I mean everyone — in the Valley,” Nelsen said, calling on faculty and staff to work together with him to carry the University into its future.
Despite the budget crisis facing UTPA and every other state-supported institution of higher learning in Texas, Nelsen said that the future of UTPA remains strong and challenging.
“We must and we will improve the social, economic and personal well-being of those who live here,” Nelsen said. “Everyone knows that the best way to do that is through education — but it is also through reaching out to the community with literacy efforts, with entrepreneurial education, with health programs, with civil engineering projects and with civic training.”
To accomplish its mission for the future, and to “truly be an agent of transformation, we will have to transform the University itself” and to do that, UTPA will have to set for itself “some very powerful and maybe even frightening goals,” Nelsen said.
He added that over the next 10 years, the University will, among other things, have to:
• Increase annual giving to $25 million per year, with goals of reaching $7.5 million dollars in three years, to $12 million in six years, and to $20 million in eight years;
• Increase college-going rates in the Valley from 32 percent to 60 percent;
• Grow University enrollment to 30,000 students;
• More than double the annual graduation rate from the current 3,500 a year to 7,500 students a year;
• Build at least four new buildings – Science, Business, University College and an Engineering Building;
• Add eight new doctoral programs;
• Increase research expenditures to $30 million;
• Increase the faculty from 665 to 1,350;
• Add 20 endowed chairs;
• Remake the undergraduate experience by adding the University College and 15 signature, uniquely Pan Am programs;
• Change the four-year graduation rate to 26 percent;
• Change the six-year graduate rate to 65 percent;
• Offer 750 courses on-line;
• Build housing for 4,000 students on campus; and
• Establish an Academy of Distinguished Scholars. Read more…
By Chip Rouse -
Oklahoma reportedly will submit a formal application to join the Pac-12 before the end of the month.
Oklahoma will submit a membership application to the Pac-12 Conference before the end of the month and Oklahoma State is expected to join their in-state rival, according to a source close to the OU administration.
The source told the popular sports website Orangebloods.com that the Oklahoma Board of Regents says it is fed up with the instability in the Big 12 Conference and plans to meet within two weeks to formalize plans for Oklahoma to apply for membership to the Pac-12. The belief is that Oklahoma State will follow suit, although OSU President Burns Hargis and OSU mega-benefactor T. Boone Pickens both voiced support late last week for keeping the Big 12 together.
It is also being reported that representatives of Oklahoma, presumably President David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione, met with officials of the University of Texas over the weekend to discuss conference realignment. It is believed that Oklahoma officials were talking to Texas about a move to the Pac-12, but Texas reportedly is holding firm in favor of keeping things together in the Big 12. A big factor in Texas’ stance is the Longhorn Network, which debuted earlier this month and would be prohibited in the Pac-12 because that conference wants to launch its own league-wide network, similar to the Big Ten Conference.
There reportedly is mixed sentiment among Pac-12 presidents and athletic directors about expansion beyond the current 12 members. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told reporters last week that the conference is not interested in expanding further at this time. It was Scott, however, that was working hard a year ago to get Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to join Colorado in a move to the Pac-12. Read more…
In the courtyard of the UTB-owned Education and Business Complex, representatives from the Legislature, the UT System and TSC heralded the university’s establishment in 1991 and its new path to becoming an autonomous institution.
After a lively blast of music from Mariachi Escorpion, UTB President Juliet Garcia explained the symbolism behind the newly purchased 600-pound bell.
“We chose the symbolism of a bell because it was rooted in our history but also because of the role higher education must play at the very core of a democratic society,” she said.
Two decades ago UTB was established through a partnership with TSC, a partnership which now is coming to an end. The actual anniversary was Sept 1, but that was the day TSC announced its choice for a new president for the college. Read more…
A major study on teacher quality makes clear just how sclerotic the Los Angeles Unified School District has become—but while the diagnosis and prescriptions are clear, the prognosis is far from certain. The National Council on Teacher Quality’s 58-page report, “Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in LAUSD,” was commissioned by the United Way and several civil rights groups and paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. While the report focuses on Los Angeles, many of its findings are applicable to other school districts around California, where collective bargaining agreements have hamstrung administrators and state laws supersede local policies.
Such studies are vital because they spotlight problems and prescribe a course of action, but they’re only half the battle. The other half, of course, requires implementing needed reforms. New LAUSD superintendent John Deasy welcomed the report, but he knows as well as anyone that the most effective reforms would require fundamentally revising the district’s collective bargaining agreement with the United Teachers of Los Angeles—something that the union and its bought-and-paid-for board of education are simply unwilling to do.
The report, published in June, urges major changes to the union contract and to state law. Teacher evaluations should be overhauled, along with tenure rules and work schedules. Rules should be changed that assign teachers to particular schools based on seniority considerations. Compensation should reward performance, not just advanced degrees and years of experience. Another prescription would incorporate standardized test scores into teacher evaluations—a reform already in effect in Washington, D.C., Florida, Maryland, and Colorado. And the report recommends delaying tenure or permanent status until a teacher has been in a classroom for four years, instead of the two years the current contract stipulates. Read more…
Written By C. THOMAS McMILLEN
A SERIES of recent scandals involving players receiving money, cars and other improper benefits, along with violations by recruiters and sports agents, has debased the already tarnished reputation of college sports. Schools like the University of Miami, the University of North Carolina and the University of Southern California, to name just a few, have been in the news more for abusing the rules than for teaching their students.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is supposed to hold colleges and universities accountable, but it has been reluctant to police with any stringency the growing number of violations. The assumption that the N.C.A.A. can develop safeguards and mete out punishment for those who violate its rules is wishful thinking. The N.C.A.A. is simply not up to the task; college trustees need to take charge instead.
In 1991, I introduced a bill in the House of Representatives aimed at reforming college athletics. My bill would have granted the N.C.A.A. an exemption from antitrust laws, which would allow it to constrain the extraordinary growth in athletic spending by schools. Under my proposal, the distribution of money from broadcast fees and other income would have been based not on winning or losing, but on the academic performance of the athletes, gender equity, and the breadth and diversity of the sports programs. The bill would have rewarded those schools promoting the values of higher education. Read more…
Written by Juan Prado
The University of Texas System Board of Regents gave final approval Aug. 25 for construction of a nearly $42.7 million Fine Arts Academic and Performance Complex at The University of Texas-Pan American.
As part of the project, existing Fine Arts Music Buildings B and C will undergo renovations. The full interior of Building C will be demolished and reconstructed and the second floor of Building B will be renovated. Both buildings will have safety and accessibility upgrades and will get new heating and cooling systems, new roofs and new interior architectural finishes.
The architectural firm for the project is Page Southerland Page from Austin, Texas.
The complex, which is expected to be close to completion by October 2014, will add a total of nearly 14,500 square feet of space for UTPA’s Fine Arts programs which will allow the University to accommodate 453 music and dance majors, up from the current enrollment of 320, and 44 faculty members, up from the current 38. Read more…
Written ByZachary D. Rymer
Just imagine what it would be like if the University of Texas had its very own television network. My goodness, what a monstrosity that thing would be.
The depressing part, of course, is that Texas does have its very own TV network. The Longhorn Network is a pompous salute to all things UT, and you can watch it as much as you like… as long as you have Verizon FiOS.
While the Longhorn Network is all well and good for those who must have constant Longhorns coverage (i.e. everybody within the state of Texas and nobody outside), it’s actually proving to be something of a pain in the neck for the university. Specifically, it’s more or less solely responsible for the fact that the Big 12 is dying a slow death.
With the Big 12 coming apart, there’s been a lot of talks in recent weeks about Texas and a couple of other notable Big 12 schools making the jump to the Pac-12. If Texas does, though, the word around the campfire is that the Longhorn Network is going to need to undergo some changes.
Here’s how Orangebloods.com columnist Chip Brown detailed things:
Texas would have to give up LHN if it went to the Pac-12, which has equal revenue sharing and pools its third-tier TV rights in a series of regional networks.
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The $300 million, 20-year contract Texas signed with ESPN has become important to UT’s board of regents, sources said, because in an age of higher education cutbacks, UT athletics is contributing $5 million per year to academics in the first five years of the deal.
If Texas went to the Pac-12, LHN would have to be re-worked so that Texas would share revenue with a partner in a regional network (possibly Texas Tech) as well as the Pac-12, forcing the Longhorns to give up much of their unique branding and riches.
In so many words, Texas’ big moneymaker would be reconfigured so that it would become a moneymaker for its new conference and at least one other school within it. To say that would be defeating the point of the blasted thing would be apt.
If Texas wants to maintain the Longhorn Network as its very own piggy bank, it has two options.
The first, according to Brown, is to join the ACC. The conference’s TV rights belong to ESPN, and ESPN of course operates the Longhorn Network. There would be no clash of interest there. Problem is the ACC doesn’t seem to be very interested in bringing Texas in at the moment.
The other option is to pull a BYU and go independent. That might actually be the best move for business, but Brown correctly pointed out that it would mean a scheduling nightmare for Texas’ athletic programs. Texas would also have to give up the right to an automatic BCS bid, which is not exactly ideal.
Long story short, the absolute best case scenario for Texas right now basically involves keeping the status quo. Keeping the Big 12 together would allow Texas to keep the Longhorn Network, and it would also allow the school to enjoy the benefits of playing football in a BCS conference.
But day by day, that ship is sinking. The way things are going now, it sounds like Texas is going to have to make a change, and it may not be one the university is going to like.
All of this because of a simple television network. The Longhorn Network was supposed to usher in a new era. Instead, it’s turned out to be a monster creation that is doing more harm than good.
Needless to say, that’s ironic. It’s also kinda hilarious.
Written By JEFF LATZKE, AP College Football Writer
If the Sooners and Longhorns end up in different conferences, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops doesn’t see the annual October showdown as a must moving forward.
“I don’t think it’s necessary. No one wants to hear that, but life changes,” Stoops said Tuesday. “If it changes, you’ve got to change with it to whatever degree. If it works, great. I love the game. But if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Sometimes that’s the way it goes.”
Oklahoma and Texas have been playing since well before they were conference rivals. They first met in 1900 and have been playing every year at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas since 1929. Last year’s game was the 105th meeting between the teams.
But if Oklahoma heads to the Pac-12 or SEC and Texas doesn’t come with, all that tradition could be washed away.
“Now that I’m 50, that’s how I see it. A lot of things change,” Stoops said. “All of a sudden, we weren’t playing Nebraska every year. And now they’re gone and we’re still here.
“Life goes on. People find other rivalries. You find other fun places to go and enjoy the game, enjoy the experience. I think it’s obvious we’ll always have a great product that’s exciting to follow. We always have great TV audiences. Whatever happens, we’ll adjust to it.”
Stoops said he thinks Oklahoma’s recruiting would only be hurt “a little bit” if the Sooners weren’t playing games regularly against Texas teams and that he is “not lobbying” for any particular endgame in conference realignment talks.
He said he wouldn’t want to face his brother, Arizona coach Mike Stoops, every year as division rivals in an expanded Pac-12 but he wouldn’t expect the university to make decisions based on his family’s preferences.
Oklahoma’s rivalry with Nebraska was once among the most prominent in college football. It was a Thanksgiving weekend staple in the days of the Big Eight, then got fractured when the teams ended up in different divisions of the Big 12. The split meant the teams only were required to play twice every four years, and they’re not scheduled to play in the foreseeable future with the Cornhuskers in the Big Ten starting this season.
A potential game around 2020 has been discussed but not finalized.
With Nebraska gone and Colorado now in the Pac-12, the future of the Big 12 was thrown into more doubt in the past few weeks after Texas A&M announced it will leave by July 2012 if it finds a suitable new league, presumably the SEC.
Also Tuesday, the chair of the Kansas Board of Regents says it would be best for Kansas and Kansas State to remain in the same conference, even if the Big 12 eventually falls apart. Ed McKechnie told The Associated Press the board prefers for the Big 12 to remain together, and “until something happens, I’m just not going to speculate on what else there could be.”
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.