Jones: Hazelwood funding, financial aid among top higher ed issues in Austin

Aug 6, 2014

Dr. Dan Jones and Dr. Mary Hendrix meet with host Jerrod Knight ahead of recording the August 2014 edition of The President's Perspective
Credit Jared Horn / TAMUC Marketing Communications

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)