“Today’s action plan from Chancellor Cigarroa is an important and welcome recognition that Texas students and parents can no longer afford business as usual from our state’s higher education institutions. The measures put forward today should lead to a better academic experience for students, and improved performance of the University of Texas System.
“We congratulate the chancellor on a comprehensive and well-considered approach. His focus on efficiency and resource utilization demonstrates respect for students and taxpayers, and should further reduce the cost of higher education to both.
“We especially appreciate the focus on improving four-year graduation rates. Improvements in academic advising and the expansion of online learning should help more students complete their degrees sooner, reduce student debt burdens, and increase the number of students able to attend UT System institutions.
“Another important aspect of improving four-year graduation rates is faculty teaching productivity. As several students noted at the Americans for Prosperity press conference earlier this week, a key obstacle to completing their degrees in four years is the unavailability of mandatory courses. University presidents have an obligation to demand more from their faculty in the classroom.
“Chancellor Cigarroa’s action plan is the first step of many that will be needed for Texas public universities to achieve the important goals of greater transparency and accountability, improved use of resources, more world-class research and high-quality graduates, and reduced cost of higher education to students and taxpayers. Today’s positive presentation is the beginning of the reform process, not the end – but it is a very good start.”
David Guenthner is senior communications director for the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.
– 30 –