Thursday, January 13, 2011

Across the board cuts to higher education, would disproportionately hurt South Texas Universities

No Wonder Dusty's kicking up a storm. Ol' Rick Perry wants to cut TAMIU's budget

By Veronica Flores-Paniagua      From The San Antonio Express-News
In 2011, the hole in Texas's budget is bigger. So, too, is the threat to Texas' universities. South Texas and border universities in particular stand to sustain the greatest injury because of their perpetual effort to catch up after decades of inequitable funding. The possibility of across-the-board cuts would be devastating.
The Legislature has used the mechanism known as “special-item” funding to help these struggling schools. It sounds like frills, but what special-item funding pays for in border schools is far from anything that could be regarded as “extra.” As UT-Brownsville President Juliet Garcia explained, the set-aside pool has helped border institutions expand their degree offerings, which, in turn, has led to booming enrollments.
Ms. Flores-Paniagua goes on to write about several of South Texas' schools and their dire financial situations. Laredo's own Texas A&M International University is included and the picture is also grimm.
Texas A&M International University eliminated the Laredo campus' social work degree because the program had produced so few graduates. Officials also collapsed some administrative functions, increased class sizes as well as faculty workloads, and merged two colleges — the College of Science and Technology and the College of Arts and Humanities — to create the College of Arts and Sciences.
Still, the state's funding formula puts schools like these, with their exploding enrollments, at a continual disadvantage because it's based only on past growth. What that means for a university like TAMIU is profound: The school's enrollment doubled in the past 10 years.The student body resembles that of others in South Texas and along the border. About half of the students are first in their families to go to college. More than 90 percent are minorities and most receive some type of financial aid.



  1. Tamiu president ray keck cut the social work program due to his personal grudge against a female sociology prof, justifying his actions by saying it wasn't the university's job to fulfill the community's needs for social workers. He then added more dance music & administrators.

  2. You're kidding?? Yea, then the LCC students majoring in social work had to go to PanAm- makes sense to me-Hijole.

  3. This female prof was instrumental in getting the PanAm project underway, otherwise students could never have completed their degrees. I never understand how the cult of personality finds Ray Keck to be acceptable...