THE SPECIAL COMMISSION ON 21ST COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES MEET IN SENATE CHAMBER
AUSTIN - The Special Commission on 21st Century Colleges and Universities held a public hearing Thursday, October 26, 2000 in the Senate Chamber. The commission was appointed by Lt. Governor Rick Perry to study issues relating to higher education in Texas. Among the topics the commission is focusing on are accessibility and affordability, and the role of advanced technology in facilitating learning and preparing students for jobs in the future.
Today's hearing centered on recommendations to the legislature, with excellence, acceptance, and diversity as the main focus. The concept of excellence is the main goal to allow for acceptance and diversity throughout higher education in Texas. Increased funds for the Texas Grant Program were a core issue 'to instill the power to the people', to have the opportunity and the means to access higher education. The creation of more institutions and universities in geographically strategic areas to attain easier access by disadvantaged students is a priority. The allocation of funds for this process would be attained from incorporating of programs, scholarships, flexible tuition, and the idea of 'partnering and leveraging' resources.
Members of the commission include Jim Adams of San Antonio serving as chair, Kirbyjon H. Caldwell of Houston, Betsy Goebel Jones of Lubbock, Margarita Diaz Kintz of Austin, Nancy Cain Marcus of Dallas, Jeff Sandefer of Austin, Elaine Mendoza of San Antonio, Karen L. Shewbart of Lake Jackson, Danny Vickers of El Paso, Railroad Commissioner Tony Garza, and Senators Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant, Teel Bivins of Amarillo, Carlos F. Truan of Corpus Christi, and Royce West of Dallas.
The commission will issue a report of its findings to be considered by the 77th legislature which convenes in January of 2001.