Wednesday, October 27, 1999
10:00 a.m.
Senate Chamber


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, October 27, 1999 in the Senate Chamber at Austin, Texas.


Chairman Jim Adams
Senator Teel Bivins
Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell
Commissioner Tony Garza
Dr. Betsy Jones
Margie Kintz
Nancy Marcus
Senator Bill Ratliff
Jeff Sandefer
Karen Shewbart
Senator Carlos Truan
Danny Vickers
Senator Royce West
Pam Willeford (ex-officio)
Steve Letbetter
Elaine Mendoza


The Chair called the meeting to order at 10:08 a.m. There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted.

The following members arrived after the roll was called: none.

The Chair advised that the first order of business was the adoption of the commission rules. Senator Ratliff moved to adopt the commission rules, which are as follows:

     "The Commission shall conduct its meetings in accordance with Senate rules and generally accepted parliamentary practice."

Without objection, the commission rules were adopted.

Chairman Adams introduced Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry. The Lieutenant Governor spoke on the mission and role of the Special Commission on 21st Century Colleges and Universities.

The Chair then introduced Don Brown, Commissioner of Higher Education. Dr. Brown gave a presentation relating to trends in Texas higher education. His presentation consisted of explanations of a number of charts and graphs that illustrated the current state of higher education enrollment and achievement, and projections for the future of higher education.

Chairman Adams led a roundtable discussion. Each member of the Commission spoke on the issues he or she was most concerned about with regard to higher education. At the conclusion of the discussion, Chairman Adams gave a brief summary of the themes that arose most often which included: access to and delivery of higher education, excellence, the value and cost of a degree, and the impact higher education has on economic development.

The Commission discussed possible formats and arrangements for future Commission meetings. Chairman Adams stated his intent that the Commission should hold future meetings in each region of the state to encourage citizen participation. It was proposed that the next Commission meeting take place in San Antonio, Texas on December 15, 1999. Members expressed that they would like to have guest speakers to give presentations on the most critical topics at future meetings.

There being no further business, at 2:40 p.m. Chairman Adams moved that the Commission stand adjourned. Without objection, it was so ordered.