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House Committee on Higher Education - 86th R.S. (2019)

Committee Members
Chris Turner, Chair
Lynn Stucky, Vice Chair
Lorraine Birabil
Angie Chen Button
John Frullo
Donna Howard
Eric Johnson
Leo Pacheco
Matt Schaefer
John Smithee
Armando Walle
Terry Wilson
Charges
• Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
  • HB 449, HB 1735, and SB 212, which relate to sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking at public and private postsecondary educational institutions. Monitor the process by which institutions of higher education adopt policies on sexual assault prevention, victim outreach programs, and disciplinary hearings. Monitor rules and regulations at the federal level that could necessitate changes to state law.

  • HB 1638, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, which relates to statewide goals for dual credit programs. Review best practices for providing opportunities to high school students to earn college credit while ensuring that courses taken reflect authentic, college-level rigor.

  • SB 18, which relates to the protection of expressive activities at public institutions of higher education. Monitor the process by which institutions of higher education implement policies to protect the expressive rights of persons guaranteed by the constitutions of the United States and of this state.

  • SB 25, which relates to measures to facilitate the transfer, academic progress, and timely graduation of students in public higher education. Monitor the process by which the Higher Education Coordinating Board adopts rules via negotiated rulemaking. Monitor the progress of institutions developing recommended course sequences and the progress of the feasibility study to implement statewide meta majors.

  • SB 16, which relates to a student loan repayment assistance program for peace officers. Monitor the process by which the Higher Education Coordinating Board implements the loan repayment program and administers the grants to eligible peace officers.
• Evaluate current and future capital infrastructure needs at Texas public universities, health-related institutions, and Texas State Technical Colleges in preparation for potential legislation to be considered by the 87th Legislature. Identify and evaluate alternatives to tuition revenue bonds for the State’s funding of higher education capital infrastructure needs, including options for addressing deferred maintenance needs at aging campuses.
• Review progress toward the goals of the 60X30TX plan, including institutional strategies for responding to diverse and rapidly changing workforce needs and demands, including workforce education, industry certification, and degree programs to address healthcare shortages. Specifically review community colleges’ capacity to meet the goals of 60X30TX, including a review of taxing districts and service areas versus geographic areas of need. Review the Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative's work-based learning, industry-aligned internships, and industry credential initiatives. Consider whether legislative action may be needed to expand work-based learning and recruitment efforts for adults who have previously completed some college level coursework.
• Study the prevalence of online courses and degrees in higher education. Examine how institutions providing online courses and programs are accredited, particularly courses and programs originating from states other than Texas. Evaluate how students whose courses and degrees are primarily online perform in terms of persistence and degree completion versus students who take courses in traditional classroom settings. Study labor market outcomes for students with primarily online courses and degrees versus more traditional programs.
• Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction. The Chair shall seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.

Note:
Lorraine Birabil appointed 2/18/2020.
Appointment letter, Speaker Dennis Bonnen, 2/18/2020

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