In the 2009 session of the legislature there was talk of adding more Tier 1 public universities to the two (UT Austin and TX A&M College Station) we already have. The money to do it was not available saving those, who didn’t have the political will to spend it, from themselves.
The structural budget deficit has combined with the bad economy to cause the remaining months of the current biennial budget to be seriously short of revenue. That’s bad, but the next biennial budget is shaping up to be much, much worse. So, what’s the legislature doing? They are trying to de-emphasize research (save money) at our tier 1 universities, disregarding the fact that the enormity of those research programs are one, of two, key defining issues of a tier 1 university.
Next the legislature attacks the other defining issue of a tier 1 university, exceptional academic programs, by trying to suggest that the criteria for determining what constitutes a good university professor should be weakened. Also, paying lower salaries to professors would be helpful in reducing the state’s budget problem. This will destroy those industry attracting, innovative, job creating tier 1 institutions.
Gov. GoodHair’s plan for a $10,000 four year degree, at a public university, will be worth at least $1,500!