AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ University of Texas System regents have ordered their schools to offer students a four-year fixed-rate tuition option by fall 2014. Read More
Guaranteed tuition plans and tuition freezes are also on the agenda for the regents’ two-day meeting, which they will convene Wednesday. Read More
There could be trouble for Powers in Sunday’s meeting. The tension is rising. Is this the last straw in a string of cover ups? You decide. Read the article by Kirk Bohls, Ralph K.M. Haurwitz and Randy Riggs of the American-Statesman Staff.
A prominent state senator is questioning the need for a rare Sunday meeting of the University of Texas’ governing board — a meeting prompted by the disclosure that Longhorns assistant football coach Major Applewhite was disciplined in 2009 for an inappropriate relationship with a student.
by Reeve Hamilton of texas tribune
In late August of 2011, both Brian McCall, chancellor of the Texas State University System, and Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas System, laid out new visions for their systems.
By Jon Marcus Who’s boss? US governing bodies flex their muscles
Virginia president keeps her job, but once-inert boards are stirring nationwide. Read More
- Where Will California Find Its Next Generation Of Higher Education Leaders (keptup.typepad.com)
- California budget deal could prevent tuition hikes (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Higher education cuts will undermine economy (utsandiego.com)
- What’s going on in California? (theblaze.com)
- UC proposes 20 percent tuition hike if tax fails (mercurynews.com)
- How to Teach Kids to Be Entrepreneurs, Not Followers (blogs.the-american-interest.com)
- Fewer Californians attending state universities, researchers find (mercurynews.com)
- New Tactic on Tuition Freezes in California (insidehighered.com)
We wanted to get your thoughts on this highly controversial issue. Let us know how this effects you. Pick up Time Magazine to read the original article, and read below, comments from the author.
By William Lutz
Bill Powers should be on his knees giving thanks that he works for two people as patient as Rick Perry and Gene Powell. Compare that with how Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber (Oregon) dealt with another UT administrator — former liberal arts dean Richard Lariviere — who decided to get front groups to attack the governing board and generally didn’t play ball with the governor’s policies:
The full text of the governor’s statement:
November 26, 2011
“First, let me say that the situation involving the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and Dr. Richard Lariviere has nothing to do with an “ongoing difference of opinion over the future of the University of Oregon,” as Dr. Lariviere suggested in an email sent out to faculty and students last Tuesday.
My education strategy includes building a world class, innovative system of higher education that delivers better results for students and serves as an engine for our state’s economic recovery. Achieving these goals requires all of our university campuses, the Oregon University System and the State Board of Higher Education to be pulling in the same direction.
While the timing of the Board’s action on Dr. Richard Lariviere’s employment contract may come as a surprise to some, the possible decision to terminate his contract should not, given his record.
- Michael Gottfredson officially named University of Oregon president by State Board of Higher Education (oregonlive.com)
- Michael Gottfredson sole finalist for University of Oregon president (oregonlive.com)
- Californian picked to lead University of Oregon (sacbee.com)
- No. 2 at UC Irvine sole finalist to head U. of Oregon (ocregister.com)
- University of Oregon chooses Michael Gottfredson as sole finalist for president (oregonlive.com)
By GLENN DOWLING Special to The Eagle
Recent criticism leveled at the A&M Board of Regents by former A&M President Ray Bowen and loyal supporter Jon Hagler was largely justified and supported by most informed and interested readers. Clearly, political forces were at the heart of tensions between the system chancellor and A&M president which created unrest and angst within the ranks of the A&M faculty. Read More
The UT System announced its commitment to make information on college costs and financial aid easier to understand and more readily available for students by 2013, according to a White House press release.
UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa represented the UT System at a White House roundtable discussion on Tuesday with the goal of decreasing student loan debt. Along with the UT System, nine other higher education institutions agreed on providing more information to students regarding college costs and financial aid.
The University System is already supplying some of the financial information through the public dashboard and the Accountability and Performance Report, which are both available online.
Anthony P. de Bruyn, assistant vice chancellor for Public Affairs, said provisions of the University System already in compliance with the White House’s guidelines include providing how much one year of college costs, financial aid options, net costs after grants and scholarships are taken into account and information on student success rates.
“This is something UT has already been doing, and we’re ready to meet the 2013 deadline,” de Bruyn said. “We already have the vast majority of the information out there.”
De Bruyn said the University System will have to add an estimate of monthly federal loan expenses after students graduate in order to meet the White House’s guidelines.
- UT chancellor talks college costs at White House (mysanantonio.com)
- VP Joe Biden meeting on college cost transparency includes UT chancellor Francisco Cigarroa (trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com)
- UT leader talks college costs at White House (mysanantonio.com)
- N.C. colleges to help push cost disclosures (newsobserver.com)
- Barack Obama’s financial aid effort joined by University of Massachusetts and 9 other colleges (boston.com)
- Editorial: College’s True Cost (nytimes.com)
- Vice President Discusses College Affordability with College and University Officials (whitehouse.gov)
- Is My Child Eligible for Financial Aid? If so, How Much? (education.com)
By Ronald L. Trowbridge – Special to the Star-Telegram
It may seem exaggerated to accuse the Texas Legislature of neglecting low-income and minority students, but facts show otherwise. The recent decision by regents at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University at College Station to freeze tuition reveals that tuition is just too high. Read More
Advocates for a moratorium on tuition increases at public universities — specifically at the University of Texas System — will attempt to deliver bags of ice to the Capitol offices of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and other key officials this afternoon as part of their “Freeze Tuition Now” campaign. Read More
by Matthew Albright
Bill aims to bring cost in line with southern average
Kristen Braud and Shawn Champagne, nursing seniors at Nicholls State University, study Monday on campus.
Hey, Texplainer: I hear Texas has a $10,000 degree. How can I get one?
Early this month, Texas A&M University-San Antonio President Maria Ferrier and Alamo Colleges Chancellor Bruce Leslie announced that they had devised a bachelor’s degree that costs roughly $9,700. Read More
By Kim Clark and Beth Braverman
(MONEY Magazine) — You knew it was bad, but now that your child is close or getting ready to go to college, you’re starting to get a truer picture of how bad. Read More
Speaking today on a SXSWEdu panel in Austin, officials from a few Texas community colleges and universities said that $10,000 bachelor’s degrees are available now — and more will be within the year.
By Siobhan Hughes
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Wednesday sounded an unusually optimistic note after meeting with President Barack Obama, saying they came away feeling they could find common ground on energy and jobs policies. Read More
By Kaustuv Basu
The phrase “post-tenure review” can mean different things to different people.
Talk of “post-tenure review” is in circulation at the University of Texas System after the Board of Regents approved tougher rules earlier this month – requiring tenured faculty members in the system to be evaluated annually and receive rankings from “exceeds expectation” to “unsatisfactory.” Read More
There is no news in noting that Republicans seem somewhat unenthusiastic about the collection of presidential hopefuls currently campaigning. And there has been a good deal of political talk about the possibility of Texas Governor Rick Perry deciding to declare his intentions to run for president.
So what does Perry bring to the Republicans that gives them hope he can defeat Barack Obama in 2012?
Perry began his political life in 1984, as a Democrat in Texas, a flaw Republicans seem unwilling to hold against him. In 1989 he converted to the Republican Party just in time to get a statewide political appointment. Perry was later at the right place and time to be appointed to replace Governor George Bush, a similar straight talking Texan, as Bush moved to the Presidency. Perry has since won three elections as Texas Governor.
But it is not Perry’s electability that draws Republicans to him. It is his political conservatism and the jobs record of Texas that suggests to Republicans he may be their best candidate.
Perry, you may recall, mentioned that succession from the US was always a possibility for Texas, a statement loved by the far Right of American politics. But that Perry is a conservative is a given, his credentials in this regard and unchallenged.
What makes Perry attractive beyond that conservatism is the performance of Texas as a “job creator.” According to the Dallas Fed, Texas created 43 percent of the new jobs in America from June 2009 through May 2011.
How did they do that, and can that be replicated across the US?
First, Texas has a couple of unique advantages in the current economy. Energy industry profits are booming and Texas is a rich energy market. And agricultural commodities for export are thriving, benefitting the Texas cattle and cotton businesses, not to be duplicated in many states. Read More
It would be the easiest thing in the world to make this about Sarah Palin.
She makes mistakes like Apple makes iPhones, so there is a temptation to catalogue her recent bizarre claim that Paul Revere’s midnight ride in April of 1775 was to “warn the British” (He actually rode to alert patriots Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were coming to arrest them) as superfluous evidence of intellectual mediocrity. The instinct is to think her historical illiteracy speaks ill only of her.
But the thing is, she is not the only one. Read More
Names, names, names – So and-So and So-and-So of This-and-That University and Such-and-Such Academic or Political Connection. After a while, you can’t tell the players in the Texas higher education debate without a program.
“Debate,” I said? That’s a good one. There’s hardly any debate at all concerning means and ends when it comes to fitting Texas colleges and universities for life in the 21st century.
Most of the news we hear sidesteps ideas to get on to the power question: Who’s jabbing whom, or wants to? Who’s pulling whose strings? What are the agendas? Read More
Los Angeles – As the federal government rapidly approaches the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, 96 percent of Americans say it is important to reduce the national debt, according to a new Reason Foundation-Rupe poll. Of those surveyed, 69 percent believe reducing the national debt is “very important.”
With the debt piling up, it is also clear that taxpayers do not trust the federal government to live within its means. In fact, the Reason-Rupe survey finds 74 percent of Americans support implementing a spending cap that would prohibit the government from spending more money than it takes in during a fiscal year. Only 19 percent oppose a government spending cap. Read More
April 18, 2011
Dear Regent Hall:
Per your request, here are my views of the continuing discussions in the media and elsewhere regarding the Regents’ task forces and my work to support them.
As you know, I was hired six weeks ago to serve as Special Advisor to the Board of Regents. I accepted this role because I believed that my previous experience as head of higher education for the State of Colorado would allow me to assist the Regents as they seek answers to (1) how to advance excellence to ensure that more Texas students graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to find a job in the 21st century economy, (2) how to serve more students by expanding access to the many educational assets of the U.T. System, and (3) how to encourage innovation in policy, program and resource management at every level to make a four-year college education more affordable. Every day, even after subsequently being informed of a new title and reporting structure, my work has been focused on following-up on these vital questions that you and other Regents are actively
Even though I have become a part of the story, these are the issues that take up most my time on a 24/7 basis. In my experience in public life, it often happens that attention to big issues and big ideas often get deflected to personalities or institutional squabbles (e.g., turf wars). It is unfortunate but true. But I am not deflected from the real issues, which do not revolve around personalities or politics. The real story is how massive shifts – demographic, financial, technological and attitudinal – are transforming the higher education landscape across America. There is also the question of the role of competitive proprietary institutions providing post-secondary degrees and what that means for state-supported institutions.
I have always taken the view that it is the responsibility of leaders to define reality. That comes first, before you can do anything. While some opinion leaders are allowing their attention to be deflected from the real issues, the facts remain: Almost every state continues a long-term decline in taxpayer funding for colleges and universities. Students and parents cannot afford another tuition increase, and it’s wrong to saddle graduates with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. More low-income and first-generation students want to attend college. Employers continue to raise concerns about the quality of education students receive. New technologies are transforming how students learn and teachers teach, but it is not clear we are taking full advantage of these assets that can help us increase access, improve quality, and reduce per-student costs.
These massive shifts coupled with these facts make this a critical time to ensure all nine of our academic campuses are deploying the latest learning technologies and modern management techniques. The question is, how will our universities thrive in this rapidly changing landscape and make more affordable the very best learning in America, making Texas first for students and employers?
Unfortunately, in the last few weeks, that central question has been lost in a torrent of personal and political attacks, which continue to escalate.
Some have attacked white papers I wrote, which were intended to spur a dialogue on how to measure the return of taxpayer dollars invested in research. As we’ve previously discussed, the role of a think tank white paper is to spur debate, while the role of a leader in government is to act – as I did in Colorado where my track record as a leader who understands and values research, including basic research, was crystal clear, including the high value I place on the many important roles of research universities.
Recently it was discovered that one of my white papers suffered from a production snafu the result of which caused problems within the text and footnotes. The think tank that published the paper has acknowledged the errors occurred during their publication process. I have also noted that this and all my whitepapers are the result of collaborative projects where many hands touch them during the research, writing, editing and publishing phases. So there are many opportunities for error. Still, because I was the project leader and because my name is on the piece I accept ultimate responsibility. I have no doubt that those who want to deny or mute the need for higher education reform are busy pouring over the dozens of advocacy pieces I have published in my career, using a fine tooth comb to identify areas where I could have been more precise with footnotes, quotations and other items. It seems that some want to retroactively apply the standards of a scholar and the academy to work I did years ago, yet none of my writings were for academic journals and I am not a scholar, and I have never claimed to be; I am an average citizen who cares deeply about improving higher education, and I have expressed those views in public many times – in writing, while running for Congress, in testimony before the state legislature.
Errors are part of life…even professional life. That’s why academic books have “errata” pages and newspapers publish “retractions” when inadvertent errors occur. I have acknowledged “errata” and offered retraction and correction. Notwithstanding, those who want to delay and deflect are unwilling to move on. Instead, taxpayer money is now being wasted on a review of this issue, forcing me to hire an attorney to defend myself. I think students, parents and taxpayers care far more about reforms and innovations that can expand educational opportunities at an affordable price than they do about digging into reasons that admitted errata crept into a report from a project years ago.
Things I have written and said have been attacked. My associations with former colleagues and organizations have come under intense scrutiny. One of the core principles of our universities is the idea of free inquiry – including the freedom to ask tough questions. I have simply exercised that same freedom of inquiry as I work to assist the task forces in trying to find answers to the questions Regents are asking. And the questions being asked are pretty fundamental – e.g., how to strengthen our universities to better serve students, parents, economic competitiveness and the pursuit of knowledge and discovery.
So, why the uproar? How is it that someone who has been on the job just 49 days, with no decision- making authority, has become an object of such scorn and caused such tumult that, in the words of the chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, it “shook the foundations of UT”?
Here’s my answer. Immediately upon starting my new job, on your behalf and that of the other Regents, I began to ask for data that would inform the task force members on how student tuition dollars and taxpayer money were being spent. Despite the fact that these data belong to the public, that by law it should be available to every citizen (and certainly to the Regents), and that the Regents governing the University of Texas are duty bound to ask for these data and had done so, the release of such data was resisted at the highest levels of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas System.
Rather than release these data, we were met with what some have called a well-orchestrated public relations campaign of breathless alarms, much like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. Generous donors and loyal alumni have been understandably (and needlessly) disturbed by dire warnings about a “loss of prestige” and “destroying research.” But given that the Regents are simply exercising their fiduciary responsibility to ask questions and request data about faculty productivity, I believe these were false alarms, meant to divert attention away from questions about how tuition and taxpayer money are being spent and to delay reforms that might arise out of the Regents’ task forces.
If there has been any damage to the reputation of the University of Texas, it has not come from the Regents’ task forces or my work for them. Any damage that has occurred must be laid at the feet of those who have diverted attention to secondary issues and then encouraged the uproar. Whether university norms were violated with regard to spreading false rumors or if there was the improper use of political influence by university employees, as some have pointed out to me may be the case, I leave to others to inquire.
I am concerned, however, that data I have reviewed, which has not been released to the public, shows a growing number of student tuition and taxpayer dollars are being paid to professors and administrators who seem to do very little teaching. And let us not forget, in a public opinion research study last year, 87 percent of Texans said that that universities’ top priority should be educating students, with only 6 percent stating that conducting research should be the top priority.
My belief is that these data, which rightfully belong to the public, should be fully released, not only so the task force members may analyze it but also so the public and outside experts may do so as well. The chairwoman of the Senate Higher Education Committee recently raised concerns about university business being done “behind closed doors, as secretly as possible. And if there’s any arena in which that is wrong, it is higher education.” I concur with her sentiments and believe that the business of the task forces should be done with complete disclosure according to the transparency rules the Regents have adopted for this effort.
Only then will people be able to know, in the words of former U.T. Austin arts and sciences dean and Boston University President Emeritus John Silber from yesterday’s Austin-American Statesmen, if “the cost of education is largely a function of the reduction of productivity in the faculty, and also the huge engorgement in administration.”
I know there are many inside the universities, the hard working people who serve students and taxpayers, who are also concerned with a decline in faculty teaching. I know this because I have been privately encouraged by many of our faculty members to continue following-up on the questions Regents are asking even though they fear speaking out in public. One brave man who was not scared to speak up was Dr. Murphy Smith a long serving scholar teacher in accounting, who among his specialties is an expert in the area of financial reporting and fraud. Although I have never met Dr. Smith, he reached out to me and authorized me to share his letter, which I attach.
Notwithstanding the personal and political attacks of the last six weeks, I want to thank you and the other Regents for the opportunity to work every day on the central question that has driven all my higher education work during my career: trying to discover ever better ways to ensure that as many students as possible have access to the highest quality college education at the most affordable cost, so they are prepared for successful careers and meaningful lives. The task forces that you and Regent Pejovich chair are doing some of the most important work in the country in terms of answering that question.
It is an honor to be able to assist you and it is my firm belief that we are on track to ensure that all nine of our campuses continue on their path of excellence and that the University of Texas System becomes the finest public university system in America – one that is of the highest quality, serving an ever growing and diverse Texas population, and affordable for all families.