FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2011
(AUSTIN) — Today the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency announced the agenda 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 will hear invited testimony from Texas higher education leaders and national experts regarding institutional governance and excellence.
"These witnesses are leaders in enhancing institutional governance while prioritizing accountability, efficiency and transparency," Senator Zaffirini said. "I am confident that their testimony will help us identify best practices and develop recommendations to promote excellence at all Texas institutions of higher education."
"This will be the first of a sequence of hearings planned for this fall," Representative Branch said. "In addition to an overview from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board leadership, the agenda for next week's meeting includes highly regarded national experts who will help our members gain a broad perspective on higher education governance models at universities across the country."
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 vetted adequately 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 to the joint oversight committee by Speaker Straus are Representatives Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton; Joaquín 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.
The committee's current agenda for the Sept. 21 hearing is attached for reference.