Heading into a legislative session, it's good to keep a finger on the pulse of issues key to your industry, and in A&M-Commerce President Dr. Dan Jones' case, the industry is higher education.
One of those issues is the allowance of capital improvements to state university campuses. The buzzword, or buzz-acronym, is T.R.B.s, for tuition revenue bonds. When the state congress allows them to be issued, state-owned universities may build new buildings, like libraries, for instance. In fact, a new library has been in the plan since well before Jones took the reigns. Congress has not allowed the issuance of new TRBs in 9 years, and Jones and his administration are ready for that streak to end.
Other issues on Jones' docket are, in no particular order:
- Formula funding (let overages benefit the formula, rather than special higher ed projects)
- Financial Aid (opportunities for low-income students to acquire financial assistance will dry up if not addressed, according to Jones)
- Continued/Expanded compensatory funding for the Hazelwood Exemption (State of Texas act that can provide for spouses/children of qualifying military service personnel to attend state universities free-of-charge)
- Community College Baccalaureate Authority (according to Jones' guest, VP of Student Access and Success Dr. Mary Hendrix, there are necessary dots to connect regarding state resource for higher education before a duplication of effort is necessary)