Press Release
August 29, 2014
Contact: Will Krueger
(512) 463-0121
Dewhurst Appoints Zaffirini Co-Chair of Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency

(LAREDO) — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst this week promoted Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, to Co-Chair of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency (HEGET). She served as Co-Chair from June, 2011, to January, 2013, and had served as Co-Vice Chair since then. Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, will continue to serve as Co-Chair.

The committee was created in 2011 by Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, to ensure that higher education governing boards follow best practices when developing and implementing policy; provide a venue 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.

"I am grateful to Lt. Governor Dewhurst for the opportunity to serve again as Co-Chair of this important committee," said Senator Zaffirini. "It is critical that we continue to prioritize not only accountability, excellence and transparency, but also best practices for the governing boards of Texas colleges and universities."

During Senator Zaffirini's previous tenure as Co-Chair, the committee held five hearings featuring testimony from Texas higher education leaders and national experts regarding institutional governance and excellence, best practices for governing boards and accountability and transparency.

Other committee members are Senators Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo; Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury; Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler; Dan Patrick, R-Houston; Kirk Watson, D-Austin; and Royce West, D-Dallas; and State Representatives Myra Crowner, R-Lake Dallas; Donna Howard, D-Austin; Eric Johnson, D-Dallas; Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham; Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; and Mike Villarreal, R-San Antonio.

"I look forward to continuing to work closely with the lieutenant governor, the speaker, my legislative colleagues, higher education leaders, students and everyone interesed in championing excellence for all Texas institutions of higher education," said Senator Zaffirini, who also is a member and former Chair of the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee. "Texas has some of the best colleges and universities in the nation, and their continued success is critical to the future of our great state."

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SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI, D-Laredo, is Co-Chair of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency and a member of the Senate Higher Education and Finance Committees. She champions excellence, affordability and access at all Texas institutions of higher education.