Legislative Session Convenes with Guns, Budget Cuts

Start Your Engines (and hide your valuables!).  The 83rd Texas Legislature is underway.  Senate Bill 182 (Birdwell) again attempts to permit guns on campus and the draft appropriations bills again cut funding to higher education (while we have been lobbying to reinstate the $1 Billion trimmed last time).

Senator Watson to Address Fall Leadership Conference

  • Senator Kirk Watson to present keynote address at Fall Leadership Conference. Representing District 14, Senator Watson is the chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, and serves on the Senate committees overseeing Business and Commerce, Economic Development, and Higher Education. He currently sits on the Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence & Transparency. We are honored to have Senator Watson as our keynote on October 26, and we are looking forward to his thoughts on the upcoming 83rd Legislative Session.

TACT Supports Chair Zaffirini’s Insistence on Excellence

The following email was sent from TACT to Chairwoman Zaffirini following a hearing yesterday of the Senate Higher Education Committee.

Dear Senator Zaffirini:

Thank you for your deft chairmanship today at SHEC, to use your acronym, but I especially wanted to recognize your opening comments for your insistence on excellence.

Senator Zaffirini Asks TACT’s Support for Faculty Bill

Texas Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Judith Zaffirini is considering re-filing last session’s SB 67, the faculty assault leave bill. It would require that faculty receive their full compensation while recuperating from an assault while performing their duties, without any reduction of any other accrued leave.

Because TACT supported the legislation in 2011, we were contacted to confirm that we still favor the concept. The language of the former bill may be found here.

Coordinating Board to Review Affordability

This Thursday's Higher Education Coordinating Board is discussing the cost of higher education. Few issues are more important than this Thursday’s Agenda Item IV-A: Discussion of Financial Aid Strategies to Encourage Student Success. TACT will be there for you, and we encourage you to listen in, write your thoughts, e-mail us an article, and join in the conversation.

At approximately 9:00 AM Thursday, July 26, Board Members will hear from national experts about best practices to prevent pricing students out of higher education while state appropriations are diminishing.

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