FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2011
AUSTIN — Today the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency posted notice for its first public hearing, which will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, in Room E1.036 of the Texas Capitol.
Co-Chaired by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and Representative Dan Branch, R-Dallas, the committee was created by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus to ensure that governing boards follow best practices when developing and implementing policy; look for major policy decisions to be adequately vetted and discussed transparently; and protect the excellence and high quality of our state's institutions of higher education.
Senator Zaffirini and Representative Branch also chair the standing higher education committees of their respective chambers.
Other House members appointed by Speaker Straus are Representatives Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton; Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio; Eric Johnson, D-Dallas; Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham; and Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie.
Other Senate members appointed by Lt. Gov. Dewhurst are Senators John Carona, R-Dallas; Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock; Rodney Ellis, D-Houston; Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo; and Kirk Watson, D-Austin.
"Higher education oversight is critical because our colleges and universities are among Texas' most important assets," Senator Zaffirini said. "They not only equip our future leaders to be lifelong learners, but also conduct nationally recognized research, thereby expanding knowledge, creating new technologies and positioning Texas at the forefront of the knowledge-based economy."
"I thank the Speaker and the Lt. Governor for the opportunity to serve, and for assembling a team of thoughtful legislators who care deeply about the importance of higher education in Texas," Representative Branch said. "Governance of our universities is important because, in so many ways, higher education will set the course for the future of our state."
Formal committee proclamations are attached for reference.