As the University of Texas System Board of Regents prepares to consider tuition increases at their institutions today, Gov. Rick Perry sent the board's chairman, Paul Foster, a letter this morning urging them to proceed cautiously.
"To put a college degree within reach for more students and combat the epidemic of student indebtedness, we should place a far greater emphasis on controlling the spiraling costs of a college education," he wrote. "Forcing students to bear the brunt of additional costs is not the solution."
In his letter, the governor made no mention of the conflict surrounding his appointee on the UT System board, Regent Wallace Hall. Earlier this week, a legislative committee determined that grounds exist to impeach Hall. The committee plans to meet next week to discuss specific articles of impeachment.
The UT System board is scheduled to meet today and tomorrow. In addition to considering tuition increases, the board plans to discuss its current governance structures, among other issues.
"As you consider tuition increases for UT System institutions today, I trust the board will consider all opportunities for system-wide cost efficiencies as well as revenue streams — such as the exponential growth in the value in the Permanent University Fund — that will allow you to meet institutional needs without placing additional financial burdens on students and parents," Perry wrote.
The Permanent University Fund is a constitutionally created endowment that has benefitted significantly from oil and gas earnings.
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Paul Foster is a major donor to the Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2014/05/14/perry-urges-ut-board-consider-alternatives-tuition/.