Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas Welcome to the Official Website for the Texas Senate
Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
Senate Committee on Higher Education
NOTE: This is archived committee information from the 85th Legislative Session.

Committee Information

Kel Seliger

Royce West

Paul Bettencourt
Dawn Buckingham
José Menéndez
Larry Taylor
Kirk Watson


Daniel Warner

(512) 463-4788

Sam Houston Building, 320

Video/Audio Archives

85th Session Interim

85th Regular Session

Interim Charges

  • Improving Transferability: Examine and make recommendations regarding policies that will help students make informed decisions regarding transferring credits among institutions and promote efficient completion of degrees and credentials. Study the adequacy of advising for transfer students in secondary and post-secondary settings. Focus on statewide solutions that will address transfer for all Texas students, including Fields of Study curricula, the role of the Core Curriculum and additional tools that will help students transfer credits efficiently toward a degree.
  • System/Campus Expansion: Consider what role the state should have in overseeing the approval and development of new higher education locations into geographical areas already served by existing institutions. Develop a long-term statewide strategy for authorizing new locations and programs which includes a plan to ensure adequate support for expansion. Explore where there are underserved areas of the state and what type of programs would best serve the population to fill regional workforce needs.
  • 60x30 TX Statewide Plan Review: Examine progress in achieving goals within the 60x30TX plan, and review efforts of higher education institutions to implement innovative and non-traditional models of education delivery to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body. Consider whether current state policies and regulations may support or hinder institutions' ability to innovate in educational delivery and access. Make recommendations to accelerate innovation in higher education, to better serve students through expanded access to high quality educational opportunities, improve quality in educational delivery, and achieve goals outlined in the 60x30TX higher education strategic plan.
  • Funding Models: Examine different models of student-focused funding for general academic institutions, including competency-based and performance funding models, and make recommendations on whether a new funding model would produce greater efficiencies and student performance.
  • Mandate Reduction: Examine all current state and federal regulations on public higher education institutions and consider whether reductions of regulations could reduce fees, produce efficiencies and greater student academic performance. Make recommendations to reduce certain regulations for increased flexibility to provide better student outcomes.
  • Dual Credit: Review dual credit opportunities throughout the state, examining the impact of HB 505 (84th Legislature) on students in particular. Look at the outcomes of statewide studies completed in Texas regarding dual credit, and examine the current rigor of dual credit courses, as well as how to improve advising for students in dual credit. (JOINT CHARGE with EDUCATION)
  • Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Higher Education Committee and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance and/or complete implementation. Specifically, receive updates on construction of facilities as a result of tuition revenue bonds authorized during the 84th Legislative Session, as well as the development and implementation of the Texas OnCourse program, authorized during the 84th Legislative Session and monitor the following:
    • SB 2118 (85th) relating to authorization by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for certain public junior colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs.
    • HB 2205 (84th) relating to the State Board for Educator Certification, educator preparation programs, educator certification, issuance of certain teaching permits, and certain procedures for investigating educator misconduct.
    • SB 887 (85th) relating to a requirement that certain participating institutions under the student loan program administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board provide loan debt information to certain students.
    • SB 802 (85th) relating to a study and report regarding best practices in the transfer of course credit between public institutions of higher education.
    • SB 810 (85th) relating to open educational resources.
    • HB 2223 (85th) relating to developmental coursework offered by public institutions of higher education under the Texas Success Initiative.