A Texas university removed its unique public billboards after students used them to share thoughts on Gaza war
The University of Texas at Dallas replaced three boulders — known as the Spirit Rocks — with trees, citing “extended political discourse.” Students say the quirky public square is a frequent venue for political messaging.
Texas A&M Board of Regents names Mark Welsh III sole finalist for president
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents named the former dean and four-star general as the sole finalist for president Friday. Many believe Welsh is the right person to move the university forward after a pair of controversies bruised the school’s morale.
As Texas bans diversity and equity offices at public colleges, Rice University’s inclusion efforts march on
DEI efforts have become a lightning rod for debate in American higher education. At the private Houston university, officials admit impact is hard to measure — but they also see progress from their work.
Texas A&M System’s guidance on the state’s DEI ban shows compliance might be a hard needle to thread
The guidance asks universities in the system to avoid using the acronym DEI on their websites and walk a fine line between organizing events that “support diversity in a general way” but don’t “promote preferential treatment of any particular group.”
Texas’ political environment driving faculty to leave, survey finds
After legislators passed laws banning diversity initiatives and targeting tenure at state universities, more than a quarter of the 1,900 Texas professors surveyed by faculty associations said they plan to look for positions out of state.
West Texas A&M will no longer require students to pay for textbooks starting next fall
The move is an effort to provide relief for college students struggling with the skyrocketing costs of higher education. But professors expressed concerns about the impact the decision might have on their ability to prepare for classes.
Texas A&M leaders’ text messages show desire to counteract perceived liberal agenda in higher education
Some members of the university system’s board of regents said they wanted to promote conservative causes at the flagship campus and resisted efforts to hire journalism professor Kathleen O. McElroy, who they believed would work counter to those goals.
Top Texas A&M officials were involved in botched recruiting of journalism professor, who will receive $1 million settlement
A new internal report, conducted by the university system’s office of general counsel, also looked into Texas A&M’s decision to temporarily suspend a respected opioids expert after she was accused of criticizing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in a lecture.
Suspended Texas A&M professor denies saying Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick believes kids who die of overdoses “deserve to die”
Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham alleged Wednesday that opioids expert Joy Alonzo told students in a guest lecture that “Your Lt. Governor says those kids deserve to die.” Alonzo denied the claims.
How an internship program hopes to end ‘brain drain’ in Texas’ Permian Basin and other rural regions
This is the third year businesses in the Permian Basin — known for high school football and oil fields — have participated in the University of Texas Austin program. Students this year say they are seeing their hometowns in a new way.
Texas A&M regents could offer a settlement to the journalism professor at center of hiring controversy
The system’s board also plans to formally appoint an interim president after Katherine Banks resigned last week following news that the school changed its job offer to Kathleen McElroy, a Black journalism professor, after outcries from conservative groups.
Texas A&M suspends professor accused of criticizing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in lecture
The professor, an expert on the opioids crisis, was placed on paid administrative leave and investigated, raising questions about the extent of political interference in higher education, particularly in health-related matters.
Texas A&M President Katherine Banks resigns amid fallout from failed hiring of journalism professor
“The recent challenges regarding Dr. McElroy have made it clear to me that I must retire immediately,” Banks wrote in her resignation letter. “The negative press is a distraction from the wonderful work being done here.”
Race-based college admissions are now banned, but Texas schools still have ways to ensure campuses are diverse
Higher education experts say universities can implement other strategies like targeted recruitment in underserved communities, eliminating legacy admissions and getting rid of test requirements.
University of North Texas can charge out-of-state students higher tuition than undocumented Texans, appeals court rules
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a federal judge’s previous injunction that barred the college from charging out-of-state American citizens more than undocumented immigrants living in the state.
1.4 million Texans’ student debts won’t be canceled. But a new loan repayment plan could bring savings.
After the U.S. Supreme Court ended President Joe Biden’s debt cancellation program, advocates for lowering student loan debt say the federal SAVE plan, an updated loan repayment program, could save Texans and other borrowers a lot of money in interest.
As race-neutral college admissions begin, Texas counselors work to convince students of color they still belong
Black and Latino students make up about two-thirds of Texas’ public schools. But they are vastly underrepresented at its top universities, and Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling will shake up an already complicated application process.
Texas colleges offer job training for students with disabilities. Here’s how to use those programs.
Students with disabilities can succeed in college with the right kind of help. There are programs that can support them. The programs help them live on their own, find jobs, and make a difference where they live.
Texas A&M University System starts ‘ethics and compliance review of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts ahead of ban
According to a June 13 letter, all Texas A&M universities must provide details on a wide range of programs, trainings and presentations that touch on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on campus, including faculty organizations and mission statements.
Stephen F. Austin State University students grow anxious about falling behind as school reels from cyberattack last week
The East Texas university says the FBI is investigating the cyberattack, which drew the school to a halt about 10 days ago, shutting down the internet and disrupting summer classes.
In first session after Dobbs ruling, Texas lawmakers provide more support for pregnant and parenting college students
Now that Texas has a near-total ban on abortion, lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are trying to make sure colleges are serving students who are pregnant or have children.
Texas lawmakers find consensus on bill banning diversity, equity and inclusion offices in public universities
The full House and Senate still must approve the final bill language before sending the legislation to Gov. Greg Abbott. If it becomes law, Texas will become the second state in the country to ban DEI offices at public universities.
Future of university tenure in Texas will likely be decided in last-minute negotiations
The Texas Senate wants to ban tenure. The House gave initial approval Monday to a a bill that would instead enshrine tenure policies in state law. After final passage, the two chambers have a week left to come to a compromise.
Texas bill would preserve UT-Austin’s admissions policies if U.S. Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action
State lawmakers passed legislation that would ensure the UT flagship can continue to cap the number of students it automatically admits because of their academic achievement at 75%, giving the university room to accept other students using different criteria.
Texas House’s weekend off means key Senate bills die after missing a legislative deadline
Priority bills that died include a 10-year minimum sentencing for gun-related crimes, a ban on “critical race theory” at public universities and LGBTQ-related legislation. While the bills may be dead, lawmakers have a limited time to attach their ideas to legislation that are still alive.
House signals readiness to fight Senate over bills to ban tenure, diversity efforts at Texas universities
Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin, pledged to defend his legislation dialing back Senate bills that would eliminate tenure and ban diversity, equity and inclusion offices. But faculty and students say even the House versions will hurt higher education.
Texas House may revise anti-diversity legislation to allow some programs to maintain grants, federal funding
A new version of Senate Bill 17 expected to be considered by the House’s Higher Education Committee on Monday would still ban DEI offices and prohibit required diversity training, but it would open the door for university boards of regents to approve such programs in certain circumstances.
For thousands of Texas professors seeking tenure, a bill banning the benefit could be a turning point in their careers
While the proposed tenure ban will likely face steep opposition in the Texas House, faculty say lawmakers’ recent attacks on higher education have raised concerns about whether Texas is the best state to build their career.
Research leaders at Texas A&M University raise ‘serious concerns’ with President Kathy Banks’ leadership
A poll conducted by the Council of Principal Investigators, an elected group of faculty who help oversee research activity at the school, found respondents distrust the president’s decision making since she took the helm nearly two years ago.
Texas Senate approves bill barring professors from “compelling” students to adopt certain political beliefs
Critics say Senate Bill 16 is overly vague and will create a chilling effect that will prevent important conversations about race and gender. But Republican supporters say the legislation is necessary to protect conservative students who are self-censoring in the classroom.
How Republicans’ threats to tenure and diversity might undercut their own efforts to advance Texas’ universities
Texas lawmakers are poised to create a new multibillion-dollar endowment to boost emerging research universities in national rankings. But faculty members say banning diversity offices and tenure would stymie those efforts.