By Kevin Kiley | Staff Reporter, December 6, 2012, Inside Higher Ed
Texas Governor Rick Perry has a lot going for him in his efforts to rework higher education in his state.
His appeals, particularly around cutting the cost of degrees for the state and families and churning out graduates with more “marketable” skills, tap into an emerging vein of populist sentiment that’s fed up with tuition increases and concerned about post-graduate employment.
On top of that, over the course of almost 12 years in office, he has appointed every member of the governing boards of the state’s higher education systems, with recent appointments being particularly amenable to his brand of change. Those board members in turn have named system and campus leaders with personal ties to Perry, many of whom have backgrounds in politics themselves.
But the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education, a volunteer group of supporters for the state’s universities agitating against the kinds of changes pushed by Perry and others, have long argued that the available data do not support his criticisms. Now they have something to show to back that up.
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