Wednesday, January 12, 2000
10:00 a.m.
University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, Texas


Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rules, a public hearing of the Special Commission on 21st Century Colleges and Universities was held on Wednesday, January 12, 2000 at the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, Texas.


Chairman Jim Adams
Commissioner Tony Garza
Dr. Betsy Jones
Nancy Marcus
Elaine Mendoza
Senator Bill Ratliff
Jeff Sandefer
Karen Shewbart
Senator Carlos Truan
Senator Royce West
Pam Willeford (ex-officio)

Senator Teel Bivins
Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell
Margie Kintz
Danny Vickers


The Chair called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted.

Chairman Adams asked that members consider the date and location for the next meeting. He also gave a brief explanation of the mission and role of the Commission and introduced Dr. Bud Joyner, Ph.D., and Dr. Martin Balsadua Ph.D., of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board who were seated with the Commissioners.

John Opperman introduced the topic as being the use of technology in higher education and described the format of the meeting.

Chairman Adams introduced the panel on technology in higher education from the Texas perspective.

Dr. Marshall Hill, Assistant Commissioner for Universities and Health-Related Institutions at Higher Education Coordinating Board, gave a presentation explaining the concept of distance learning, the various methods of delivery, and the current policies of the Higher Education Coordinating Board with regard to distance education.

Pamela Quinn, Assistant Chancellor for the R. Jan LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications at the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), gave a presentation on the distance learning programs at DCCCD, which have served as a national model. She explained the demographics of students who participate in distance learning and discussed the challenges that exist in delivering distance education. Distance learning students want convenience, delivery options, no frills, and they shop for courses on-line. Community colleges have collaborated to form the Virtual College of Texas to link course offerings to any student at any institution. This program is a model for the nation.

Dr. Darcy W. Hardy, Director of the University of Texas Telecampus, discussed the history of the UT Telecampus, including the programs and degrees offered, and the structure of those programs. She discussed the benefits and concerns relating to distance education, and the various ways technology can be used to assist in education.

Dr. Allan Watson, President of the Alliance for Higher Education, described the purpose of the Alliance, which is a collaborative effort of business, industry, and higher education for workforce training and education.

Dr. Bill McCaughn, Vice Provost for Outreach and Extended Studies at Texas Tech University; and Chairman of the Distance Education Advisory Committee at the Higher Education Coordinating Board, discussed efforts of Texas Tech to provide distance education. He emphasized that some courses use technology as an enhancement while others are designed around technology. He also noted that on-campus enrollments continue to increase even as distance education program enrollments increase and stated his belief that formula funding needs to address the technical infrastructure for distance education.

Chairman Adams introduced the panel on the use of technology in higher education from the national perspective.

Dr. Sally M. Johnstone, Executive Director for Western Cooperative for Educational Technologies, gave a presentation on how technology is being used in higher education, including distance education programs and privately operated websites offering academic and non-academic support and other services to faculty and students. She also discussed quality assurance issues such as consumer protection and academic integrity.

Dr. John Opper, Educational Policy Director for the Florida Post-Secondary Education Planning Commission, discussed Florida's efforts in distance education. He spoke on the needs that must be considered when designing distance education programs, including infrastructure, building or leasing facilities, hardware requirements, training and support for faculty and students, and content (developed, purchased or adapted from other programs). He also noted that distance education poses an added expense resulting from the need to obtain licensing for online libraries, etc.

Dr. Bruce Chaloux, Director of the Southern Regional Electronic Campus within the Southern Regional Education Board, spoke on the advantages of virtual universities. He emphasized that virtual universities enhance economic development and workforce training, help reach the under-served, enable the sharing of resources, provide access to learning at all times and in all places, and expand services to students.

The floor was then opened to public testimony.

Mr. Benito Maldonado spoke on the need for more Hispanic leadership in higher education and government.

Mr. Gilbert Leal of Greenspoint Communications spoke on the need for more targeted minority recruitment to help them overcome barriers to getting a college education.

There being no further business, at 3:50 p.m. Chairman Adams moved that the Commission stand adjourned. Without objection, it was so ordered.