Monthly Archives: August 2013

Delaying Improvements

The Texas Tribune has a story (“In Absence of TRBs, Universities Delaying Improvement“) about how schools are responding to the lack of funding for projects. Perry’s silence on this has had a profound impact because funding these projects is not going to get the spotlight without a little help from state leaders. Perry is very interested in slowing the state’s rising debt as he positions himself to run for president and that made the issue a non-starter with him.

“Majoring in a Professor”

A story in Inside Higher Ed reports on a  study that finds choice of student’s major most influenced by quality of intro professor. One one hand, this means that we need to think carefully about how intro level classes are taught. On the other hand, it’s a  scary to think that students pick a field based largely on one faculty member.

Perry’s Veto of Regents Bill

An article (“Lawmakers, Students React to Perry’s Veto of Regents Bill“) in Alcalde (the magazine of the University of Texas Alumni Association) looks at Perry’s veto of SB 15.

The basic politics of the bill is simple.  UT alumni did not like some of what regents had been up to. Perry eventually sided with the regents he appointed. Legislators thought that they had amended the bill to make the bill agreeable to the Governor. However, Perry has never been shy about surprising legislators with vetoes after the end of the session.

The Socrastic Method


From PHD Comics: The Socrastic Method.


The risks of admitting at-risk students

Many of us teach at schools that admit disadvantaged students. It’s good that the state wants to reach out to those students. However, new funding formulas in Texas and other states allocate money based partially on “performance based” criteria or student “success.” That means schools will have more incentive to turn away as many disadvantaged student  since studies show they are less likely to graduate in six years (“Incoming student characteristics determine graduation rates, studies find“).