News Release from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2008
Contact: Celeste Villarreal
512/463-0121

University Leaders Testify before Higher Ed Subcommittees

(AUSTIN) -- Testimony regarding the financial structure for colleges and universities and capital funding highlighted today's (Wednesday) two higher education hearings at the Texas Capitol.

The Senate Finance Higher Education Subcommittee held a hearing to address the interim charges issued by Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst about higher education financing and to make recommendations regarding any necessary changes in the structure and organization of higher education.

Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, chair of the Senate Finance Higher Education Subcommittee, presided during the hearing to discuss research and financing for capital projects for academic, health-related institutions, and flagship research universities.

Testimony was offered by representatives from Texas A&M System, Stephen F. Austin State University, University of Texas at Austin, Prairie View A&M University and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

After the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education committee adjourned, the Senate Higher Education Subcommittee convened to hear testimony regarding the need for new higher education institutions, long-term strategic planning, medical education, and the value of associating a medical school with a top-tier academic campus.

"Each session we focus on financing higher education and the need for new campuses to expand higher education opportunities for Texans," Senator Zaffirini said. "We must continue to focus on options for improvement of the current funding structure so that the needs of students and universities are fulfilled."

The legislature appropriated $16.5 billion for higher education during the current biennium.

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SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI presides over two higher education subcommittees at the Texas Capitol. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appointed her Chair of the Senate Finance Higher Education Subcommittee and of Senate Higher Education Subcommittee.


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