Thursday, November 5, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Patrick discusses U.T. tuition, Campus #2A

"Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord."
Colossians 3:20

[Author's Note: During our conversation with the Lt. Governor, each of our phones dropped the call on separate occasions; we spliced those recordings into the full interview, but the transition is rough.]

[UPDATE: It gets better, looks like the College on liberal arts had a 'town hall' meeting on this issue last night.]

Yesterday, we spoke with Lt. Governor Patrick about the University of Texas' recent decision to move forward with tuition increases despite an EXPLICIT warning from the Lt. Governor (on behalf of the Senators) not to do so:

  • "Apparently, they'd already made up their mind in advance, and I wanted to remind them, before they cast a final vote" that it was one of the most productive sessions for higher ed. "in a long time."
    • Record levels of funding
    • TRB's for the first time in a decade.
      • Author's Note: For the record, we opposed those at the time.
  • "With all of that, the first thing they do, is have a meeting to talk about raising tuition?!?"
    • "It makes me scratch my head."
    • "Before they had even cashed the checks we'd sent to them."
    • Author's Note: Perhaps we're more cynical than the Lt. Governor, but we predicted this exact course of events back in March.
  • "They need to be thinking just the opposite: How can we reduce costs?!?"
    • "They need to be thinking in the opposite direction."
    • "It's simply amazing to me."
  • U.T. financial irregularities: "For whatever reason" we have to reduce costs to students.
  • Tuition 'Deregulation' repeal: "I was all in favor of Senator Schwertner's bill."
    • "Those in higher education need to read the body language of the legislature.
    • "If they turn a deaf ear to the legislature, there will be a stronger voice calling for the legislature to go back and set tuition."
    • "This movement is growing."
  • Timing of tuition hike announcement was "offensive."
  • Low Bill ### for tuition 'dereg' repeal: "Will be considered" but no promise.
  • Regent confirmation next session: "I think, in future hearings for regents the questions about tuition are going to be front and center's getting to the boiling point."
  • Campus Carry: "I hope they're tenured professors [who quit] because it will save the state money."
    • "They have a right to work anywhere they choose."
    • Declines to comment on the vulgar protest.
Bottom Line: If U.T. goes ahead with this tuition hike, they're picking a fight with the Texas Senate.  Time will tell if they're that arrogant.  Based on history, we're guessing they are.

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