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August 10, 2004     (512) 463-0300

Education Review Continues at the State Capitol

AUSTIN - The Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education met today, August 10, 2004 at the State Capitol to discuss key findings and challenges identified in the Work Groups within the committee.

Leading things off was a workgroup on Community Colleges, headed by Senator Royce West. Other members included Sen. Kip Averitt, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, and Mr. Jodie Jiles-a public member. West explained that the workgroup's recommendation was that the Legislature restore formula funding to community and technical colleges, and that this could be accomplished by allowing no area of the state to be outside of the community college taxing district.

Next was the workgroup on Systems. Representative Tony Goolsby was the chair of the workgroup followed by Senator Judith Zaffirini and Mr. Jerry Farrington. Rep. Goolsby stated that the consensus was that the university systems' administrations were going to need more funding, but also that it was understood that financial support from the state would be improbable.

A workgroup on Research Institutions was headed by Senator Kyle Janek and included Rep. Fred Brown, Rep. Roberto Gutierrez, and Dr. Martin Basaldua. Janek stressed the following bullet points: recruitment and retention of research-oriented faculty, developing a constant and dependable source of funding, and building deeper research infrastructure, recruitment of high-quality graduate students to support the faculty, the expansion of graduate programs, collaboration across higher education research institutions, and understanding the need for time and patience in research.

The work group on Teaching Institutions had not met at present, but is planning to meet and present a report at the next hearing. The workgroup is chaired by Representative Sylvester Turner, and includes Senator Robert Duncan and Mr. Robert Shepard.

The Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education is Co-chaired by Senator Florence Shapiro and Representative Geanie Morrison. The committee stands at recess subject to the call of either chair.

Legislative Committee Meets with Tuition Experts

The Legislative Oversight Committee on Higher Education met today, August 10, 2004 at the State Capitol following the adjournment of a meeting by the Joint Interim Committee On Higher Education--a committee which includes the same members with the addition of public members. The focus of the meeting was to discuss Tuition and Financial Aid issues of Colleges and Universities of Texas.

Opening the testimony was Carol McDonald, President, Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas.

A presentation from the Financial Aid Advisory Committee followed with testimony from Lois Hollis, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and George Torres, Assistant Vice President for Congressional & Legislative Relations, Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Association.

The bulk of the meeting, however, involved presentations from Texas colleges and universities on Fall 2004 tuition increases. Representing Texas Southern University: Preiscilla Slade, President.

Representing Stephen F. Austin State University: Danny Gallant, Director of Financial Services and Mike O'Rear, Director of Student Financial Aid.

Representing Texas State University System: Lamar Urbanovsky, Chancellor; Dr. Denise Trauth, President, Texas State University-San Marcos; Jack Parker, Vice President for Finance and Operations, Sam Houston State University.

Representing University of North Texas System: Lee Jackson, Chancellor; Phil Diebel, Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs.

Representing Texas Tech University System: Dr. Jon Whitmore, President. Representing University of Houston System: Dr. Jay Gouge, Chancellor and President of University of Houston; Dr. Bill Staples, President, University of Houston-Clear Lake; Dr. Max Castillo, President, University of Houston-Downtown.

Representing Texas A&M University System: Dr. Benton Cocanougher, Interim Chancellor; Dr. Bill Perry, Vice Provost, Texas A&M-College Station; William Hearn, Interim Dean, Texas A&M-Galveston; Dr. Robert Furgason, President, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; Dr. Dennis McCabe, President, Tarleton State University.

Representing University of Texas System: Mark Yudof, Chancellor; Dr. James Saniolo, President, UT-Arlington; Patricia Ohlendorf, Vice President for Institutional Relations and Legal Affairs, UT-Austin; Dr. Franklyn Jenifer, President, UT-Dallas; Dr. Diana Natalico, President, UT-El Paso; Dr. David Watts, President, UT-Permian Basin; Dr. Ricardo Romo, President, UT- San Antonio; Dr. Rodney Mabry, President, UT-Tyler.

No public testimony was taken. The Committee is Co-Chaired by Senator Florence Shapiro and Representative Geanie Morrison. Senate Membership includes Sen. Kip Averitt, Sen. Robert Duncan, Sen. Kyle Janek, Sen. Royce West, and Sen. Judith Zaffirini. House Membership includes Representatives Fred Brown, Tony Goolsby, Roberto Gutierrez, Lois Kolkhorst, and Sylvester Turner. The committee stands in recess subject to a call of either chair

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