Office of Planning and Budgeting

Update on Upheaval in Texas Higher Ed

Two major developments have unfolded in the days since we posted about recent controversies gripping public higher education in Texas:

  • The UT system released a massive file of faculty ‘productivity’ data that was compiled at the request of a Task Force created by the Regents and subsequently subject to an open records request from a local newspaper. There are questions about the accuracy of the data, as well as concerns about how the information might be used out of context.
  • Meanwhile, controversial Texas A&M chancellor and former chief of staff for Governor Rick Perry, Mike McKinney, has announced that he will retire on July 1 after five years in the job. E-mails obtained through open records requests show that McKinney was heavily criticized from multiple sides regarding the divisive reforms currently championed by a conservative think thank, the Governor and the Regents. The e-mails reveal that Chancellor McKinney not only faced criticism for doing the bidding of these external stakeholders at the expense of the institution, but was also assailed by the would-be reformers  for implementing the changes they are advocating neither strongly nor swiftly enough.

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