AUSTIN – The regents of Texas’ major state university systems met today to consider a set of common goals and specific reforms that will establish Texas as the outright leader in 21st century higher education.
“Today, we started a conversation that will move us toward a frank assessment of those approaches that can improve our university systems’ overall effectiveness, increase the degree of accountability, provide students with a superior learning environment, and most importantly, give Texas students the chance to compete in the global marketplace,” said Gov. Rick Perry.
The overriding goal of today’s summit was to bring renewed focus to Texas higher education so that Texas’ public universities provide a top-flight education to their students by attracting the best teachers and researchers to Texas.
“The Governor’s Higher Education Summit facilitated a dialogue between the regents of our Texas public university systems and top education reformers from across the country,” Foundation president Brooke Rollins said. “Regents now have the opportunity to take concrete actions to ensure that Texas’ higher education system will produce the number and quality of educated workers so that Texas can remain a world economic leader.”
The Texas Public Policy Foundation urges all Texas university systems to incorporate the following common goals into efforts to improve Texas higher education:
– Measuring teacher efficiency and effectiveness through student evaluations; – Requiring evidence of teaching skill for a majority of new tenure appointments; – Supporting the creation of a new accrediting agency with results based on student learning and workforce readiness versus the number of books in a library or tenured professors with PhD’s; – Recognizing and rewarding extraordinary teachers; – Splitting teaching and research budgets to reward exceptional individuals in each area; – Using “results-based” contracts with students to measure academic quality; and – Putting state funding directly in the hands of the students through scholarships.
“Texas is fortunate to have so many quality regents who understand that their governance and oversight responsibility includes the entire university, and are willing to make sure those institutions are providing the best possible product to the students and citizens,” Rollins said. “Our Texas regents recognize that their role is far more than ceremonial. Their mission is to involve themselves in the critical policies within our university systems.”
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas. The Foundation’s research on higher education is available on the Foundation’s website, www.TexasPolicy.com.
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