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March 16, 2000     (512) 463-0300
Photo: Senator Rodney Ellis emphatically addressing members of the Texas Grant Oversight Committee in the Senate Chamber
Houston Senator Rodney Ellis emphatically addressing members of the Texas Grant Oversight Committee in the Senate Chamber Thursday, March 16, 2000.

The Texas State Senate News

AUSTIN--The Texas Grant Oversight Committee held a public hearing Thursday, March 16, 2000, in the Senate Chamber at the State Capitol.

Committee members include Senators Rodney Ellis of Houston - serving as co-chair, Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, and Steve Ogden of Bryan. House members include Representatives Henry Cuellar of Laredo - serving as co-chair, Irma Rangel of Kingsville, and Geanie Morrison of Victoria.

After brief statements by Senator Ellis and Representative Henry Cuellar, the Legislative Relations Committee (LRC) from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) was introduced. LRC members include Chairwoman Pam Willeford, Gerry Griffin, and Steve Late. William Atkinson of the Student Services Committee was also introduced.

The THECB provided an overview of education in Texas. Dr. Don Brown, Commissioner of Higher Education, and Sharon Cobb, Assistant Commissioner for Student Services, both provided testimony.

Next, a university panel offered testimony to the committee. Earl "Bud" Frankenberger, Interim Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services, and Arnold Trejo, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services, both of the University of Texas-Pan American; Michael Novak, Executive Director of Enrollment Services for Financial Aid at Southern Methodist University; Carol McDonald, Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas; Dr. Robert Furgason, President, and Manuel Lujan, Dean of Enrollment, both of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, testified.

Then a panel of community and technical college representatives gave related testimony. Panel members included Chancellor Bill Segura, Texas State Technical Colleges; Irene Porcarello, Dean of Student Development, Houston Community College; Rick Moreno, Financial Aid Director, Laredo Community College; and Rey Garcia, Texas Association of Community Colleges.

Finally, Jim Parker, former-President, Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, provided a financial aid officer overview. George Torres of the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation provided an overview on the Center for Financial Aid.

The Texas Grant Oversight Committee will continue to meet in a series of public hearings throughout the interim. The committee will submit its findings as a report to be used in developing legislation for consideration by the 77th Legislature, which will convene in January of 2001.

Click here to listen to the hearing in RealAudio format.

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