Wednesday, March 18, 2015

SB 177: Power Grab by the U.T. Politburo

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

Last session, the Texas Legislature (led by Dan Branch) passed SB 15, a measure that would have undermined the authority of Regents in university governance.  Specifically, the bill would have required university bureaucrats to sign off any time a Board of Regents wanted to replace a university president.  The bill was designed to protect Bill Powers and undermine Wallace Hall.  This website vehemently opposed that bill and encouraged former Governor Perry to veto it.  Fortunately, the former Governor agreed.

Unfortunately, SB 15 is back this session as SB 177 and this time the Governor doesn't support Higher Ed reform; even worse, the Texas Senate Higher education committee is expected to vote on SB 177 this morning.

Specifically, SB 177 states:
(a-5)AAThe governing board of a university system may terminate the employment of an institution ’s president or other chief executive officer only after receiving a recommendation to that effect under Section 51.353(b)(7), but the board is not required to act on that recommendation.

[Author's Note: Emphasis added.]
In addition, SB 177 redefines the duties of Regents to:
preserve institutional independence and...defend each institution’s...right to manage its own affairs through its chosen administrators and employees;
In other words, Regents will no longer be expected to protect the public but will instead be assigned to protect the bureaucrats from scrutiny.

SB 177 is a usurpation of Regent authority that will further insulate university bureaucrats from public accountability.

Texas Senate Higher Education chairman Kel Seliger: (512) 463-0131

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