Howdy and welcome to the website alliancefortamu.org. The original purpose of this website was to collect, in a convenient location and for the benefit of Former Students of Texas A&M University and others, information relating to the highly publicized proposal of the Texas Public Policy Foundation known as “The Seven Breakthrough Solutions.” At that time, these so called Solutions were being implemented by the Regents and the System administration of the Texas A&M System. While implementation had not begun at the University of Texas at Austin, it appeared that plans for implementation were being made by the Regents of the University of Texas System.
The damaging aspects of the Solutions at Texas A&M were highlighted in a May 3, 2011 letter from twenty two Distinguished Alumni of the university, a letter that is published on this website. Much has transpired since that letter was published. On this website, we have collected articles that chronicle activities that relate to the Solutions proposals at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin.
In response to the negative attention drawn to the proposals of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the Chairman of the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University disavowed the Solutions in a late May, 2011 interview. As emphasized in the Distinguished Alumni letter, efforts to implement the Solutions represented one of several inappropriate political interventions in our university. While pleased with the decision of the Board of Regents, we remain concerned that the Solutions might appear in altered form at some future time. We are also concerned that other kinds of political interventions will continue.
Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency
In response to the controversy generated by the Solutions proposal and other attacks on our research universities, the 2011 Texas legislature created the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency. This joint committee was co-chaired by Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo and Representative Dan Branch of Dallas. During the period 2011-12, this committee held a series of hearings. Links to these hearings and to related information are available on this website. Initially, the leadership of the 2013 Texas legislature chose not to continue the work of this committee. However, in response to events at The University of Texas at Austin, the leadership of the House and Senate recently reconstituded the Committee. Representaive Dan Branch remained as co-chair. Senator Kel Seliger of Amarillo was named co-chair.
Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education
In June, 2011, also in response to concerns about the political interventions taking place at The University of Texas at Austin and at Texas A&M University, a group of concerned citizens formed the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education. In the subsequent months, this group has become an effective advocate for excellence in all aspects of higher education at our flagship universities and, just as importantly, at all of our universities in Texas. Links to the website of the Coalition are available on this website.
Concern About Governance
A fundamental concern confronting higher education in Texas is inappropriate political interventions in the governance of our universities. This problem was behind the Solutions proposal and was identified as a concern during the hearing of the Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency. Governance issues are also fundamental to the concerns of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education.
On this website, we have provided links to articles and related information that relate to governance issues at Texas A&M University. This information begins with activities of the Board of Regents as early as the appointment of Robert M. Gates as President of A&M in 2002. The governance issues span a number of years and a number of topics.
In fairness, we wish to acknowledge that the kinds of visible, usually public, political interventions that were common during the period 2002-2011 have diminished. The appointment of Chancellor John Sharp seems to have resulted in a governance environment that, externally, appears more orderly and thoughtful. We celebrate this development. However, we encourage Aggies everywhere to be vigilant. The underlying political environment that created the problems chronicled here is still present.
The information on this website is somewhat arbitrarily divided into the following topics:
- Articles and Information Relating to the Governance of Texas A&M University.
- Information and Articles Relating to the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education
- Joint Oversight Commitee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency
- The Seven Break Through Solutions including a letter of concern from Distinguished Alumni of Texas A&M University
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