Austin, Texas–Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) has filed priority legislation for Texas colleges and universities.
Senator Creighton offered the following statement:
“Education is the greatest equalizer in our nation, and Texas is home to world class and innovative colleges and universities. The strength of the Texas economic engine is directly tied to our workforce, and making overdue reforms to higher education will allow Texas to remain the number 1 job creator in the nation.
“The decisions we make for higher education today determine our Texas of tomorrow, and in order to prepare the next generation of leaders, these taxpayer funded institutions must promote merit, free-thought, and ensure that every student is treated as an individual and afforded equal opportunities to achieve success.”
SB 2539: 21st Century Workforce Act
A highly educated and skilled workforce is critical for Texas to remain the most attractive state to do business, and community colleges are ground zero for students to access the necessary skills and training for in-demand careers. The Community College Finance Commission was created in SB 2539 in the 86th Legislature, and this bill activates the commission’s recommendations. Specifically providing funding based on student outcomes, increased financial aid and work-based opportunities, as well as greater investment in college capacity through grants and cross campus partnerships.
SB 1563: Investing in Rural Healthcare
In 2019, the Texas Legislature, through HB 2867, established the Sam Houston State University Medical School to address the shortage of primary care physicians and rural healthcare needs. In 4 short years, the Osteopathic school has increased class size by 34% and doubled the volume of applications. This bill provides the necessary funding for the school to expand and train the next generation of in-demand physicians Texas desperately needs.
SB 17: Ending Divisive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Policies
While every member of a university community must be treated with equal dignity, so-called DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) offices are in fact the leading threat to true diversity and genuine inclusivity on university campuses. Whether a student is from Conroe, Austin or Laredo, a first generation college student or triple legacy, every individual should be welcome and promoted based on qualifications. The elevation of DEI offices on campuses have only furthered divides and created a chilling effect on open dialogue. This legislation will ensure Texas college campuses are environments that are open to differing ideas, foster meaningful, reasoned dialogue, and encourage intellectual discourse.
SB 18: Eliminating Tenure
SB 18 eliminates the costly, unnecessary and antiquated burden of tenure at Texas public colleges and universities. Tenure was originally intended to protect academic freedom and recruit professors, however over the years, the practice has devolved into a costly perk that is detrimental to innovative research and quality instruction and if abused, used as an attack against the brand of the university itself. At a time when colleges and universities have unprecedented endowments, bloated administrative costs and ballooning tuition it is time for lawmakers to reevaluate an outdated practice that guarantees lifetime employment at taxpayer expense.