Student Financial Aid may take significant hit in next session

The Austin American-Statesman reports today that student financial aid may be slashed by up to $108 million in the next two-year budget. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board met in Austin this week to discuss recommendations on cost efficiencies in higher education.

TACT President-Elect to speak at Senate Higher Ed. Meeting

The newly-constituted Senate Higher Education Committee will meet next Thursday at the Capitol to discuss Interim Charge Four:

Study and make recommendations regarding the current accountability system and ways to measure student progress, faculty workload, and student advising; and to improve time-to-degree. Examine the quality of academic advising services to ensure that students are taking courses relevant to their degree program and are on path for graduation. Study and make recommendations to eliminate unnecessary or duplicative reporting requirements.

Urgent warning about proposed change in how Texas public universities are funded

Dear TACT Colleagues:

We are writing to you to give you an urgent warning about a matter that we believe deserves your careful attention. Recently the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has proposed an “Accelerated Plan for Closing the Gaps by 2015.” This plan aims increase the percentage of students, especially Hispanic and African American students, who successfully complete a college education. The relevant documents are available from the THECB website at http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/ . TACT has long been a strong supporter of the “Closing the Gaps” initiative, and we stand firmly behind recommendations in the plan such as providing all high school students with a rigorous curriculum, improving the effectiveness of developmental education, and implementing comprehensive student support services.

Governor Perry, Lt. Governor Dewhurst and Speaker Straus Issue Request for Bigger Budget Cuts

“As we move into the upcoming budget cycle, state leadership will continue to identify ways to trim spending, just as families and businesses across the state have done, in order to balance our budget,” Gov. Perry said. “This request for 10 percent reduction proposals for the next biennium builds on our ongoing call on state agencies to tighten their belts so Texas can continue our commitment to keep taxes low, attract businesses and create jobs as we continue to lead the way out of the national economic downturn.”

UT System, AAUP Disagree About Galveston Firings

University of Texas System staff is considering advisory committee suggestions regarding increased faculty participation during situations of financial exigency.

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