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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:58 am
Posts: 38
Good Afternoon All,

Everyone is gearing up for the upcoming legislative session. I'll try to keep this Forum updated weekly as things progress with special postings as things really heat up.


State Legislative Update

House Higher Education Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday, September 9th to consider the following interim charge:

Study new strategies for funding General Academic institutions to accelerate educational innovation and increase focus on improving student learning and success rather than seat time. Consider approaches that encourage new and more productive business models that incorporate affordable, lower-cost academic delivery models and expand the state's capacity to deliver high-quality education.

The committee first heard an update on preliminary enrollment from Susan Brown of the Higher Education Coordinating Board. She indicated that enrollment at 4-year institutions is 21,000 more than last year, an increase of 3.7%. For 2-year colleges, enrollment dropped 2,500, which she attributed to the strong job market.

House Select Committee on Health Care Education & Training

The committee will meet on Tuesday, September 16th at the Houston Community College(HCC), Coleman College for Health Sciences Auditorium. The committee will meet to hear invited and public testimony on the mental health care workforce in Texas.

Senate Finance Committee

The Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 24th to hear invited testimony from the Legislative Budget Board regarding major cost drivers for the state budget including:

Public Education
Higher Education
Employee Retirement System
Teacher Retirement System

Community and Technical College Leadership Council (Coordinating Board)

The CTCLC met on Thursday, September 11th. The Council agenda included:

Discussion of the Council's subcommittees' priorities and membership

Discussion of the importance of Skills Development and JET Grant Funds

Update on Student Success Points

Discussion of the new Coordinating Board's Developmental Education Report

Discussion of Field of Study and Program of Study Legislative recommendation

TACC Cooperative Purchasing Network

The Texas Community College Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCCCPN) has awarded several new contracts this month.

Contract #014-14 Welding Equipment, Supplies, and Gases has been awarded to Airgas USA, LLC and to Matheson. The suppliers can handle your institution's needs anywhere in the state and have very competitive pricing.

All of the college purchasing have been notified of this award but we encourage your support of the use of the TCCCPN contracts whenever practical for your institution. The service fees earned will return to the association for use for the benefit of all members.

Winter is just around the corner and natural gas prices are forecast to rise considerably in the next several years. They are currently at seasonal lows but are expected to begin rising soon, perhaps never to return to current levels. If your college has not locked in pricing for electricity or natural gas for the long term, consider giving Tradition Energy, our contracted energy consultant a call. Bob Wooten and his team at Tradition will help you evaluate your needs, provide consulting services, and will obtain pricing without your staff needing to issue an additional RFP. The contract can be reviewed on the TACC webpage under the Purchasing Network tab. Bob can be contacted at (713) 609-9929 or via email at

Media Advisory

As the state’s Closing the Gaps by 2015 strategic plan draws to a close, the Texas Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee will hold its next monthly meeting to continue deliberating the state’s next long-term higher education plan that inspires and advances student success and positions Texas as a leader in an increasingly complex world economy.

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. This meeting will be broadcast via
WHERE: THECB Headquarters, 1200 E. Anderson Lane, Austin TX 78752
9:15 a.m. Marketable skills needed by the graduates of higher education institutions ∙ Mark S. Schneider, vice president, American Institutes for Research
10 a.m. The importance of marketable skills in the liberal arts ∙ Randy L. Diehl, dean of the college of liberal arts, The University of Texas at Austin

During the deliberations process, the THECB will solicit public input via stakeholder meetings and online tools such as College Town Hall-Texas, an interactive, THECB-hosted website ( that provides an opportunity to share ideas, respond to new initiatives and join the dialogue on the future of higher education in the state. The public will be able to help shape future higher education policy as Texas sets its sights on becoming a national and international leader.
• THECB Strategy Meeting Media Advisory 9 10 14.pdf

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