Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rick Perry & conservative think tank trying to hijack Texas' higher education

Talmade Heflin Good Ol' boy Director of Tx think tank

From The American Independent
The chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education has filed a comprehensive public information request for documents related to university proposals created by an ally of Gov. Rick Perry and pushed by the governor. Preliminary responses to the request have already yielded new evidence of the governor’s office pressuring regents, and regents in turn pressuring university officials, she said.

“I soon found out that this controversy is not just at UT and A&M; it is statewide,” said state Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo). “I am getting information about UT and A&M, but also about Stephen F. Austin and Texas Women’s University and many others.”

In a pair of letters dated April 12 to University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, Zaffirini asks for all information related to the “seven breakthrough reforms in higher education” proposed by Jeff Sandefer, co-founder of Acton Business School and a board member of conservative think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Zaffirini said the proposals would do serious damage to the state’s universities. She fears the issue will keep Texas’ seven emerging research universities from becoming nationally recognized, limiting their ability to recruit students and faculty.

“If policies are implemented the way they are intended to be implemented, it would not only hurt A&M and UT in becoming nationally recognized universities. It could damage them all,” Zaffirini said.

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