Texas education leaders have a vital role to play in making sure that we are on the right path to help Texas close educational gaps.
To benefit from the knowledge, experience, and insights of the state's education leadership, the Coordinating Board sponsors an annual conference to share and discuss the state's higher education goals, plans, and activities. This year's conference, Closing the Gaps: Achieving Excellence, was held October 10-11 at the Austin Marriott at the Capitol. Invited were governing board members, community college trustees, public school and higher education representatives, and Coordinating Board members. Throughout the conference, we focused on how to continue working together to achieve the targets and goals established in the state's Closing the Gaps by 2015 higher education plan, particularly the excellence goal.
An orientation for governing board members was held on Monday afternoon, October 10. This orientation satisfied the training requirement for newly appointed regents (Texas Education Code Section 61.084, Training for Members of Governing Boards). Higher education leaders were also welcomed to attend this orientation.
On Monday evening, we announced the recipients of the 2005 Texas Higher Education Star Award. The award, established by the Coordinating Board in 2001, is presented annually to a maximum of 12 higher education institutions, organizations, or individuals to recognize their exceptional contributions to one or more of the goals of Closing the Gaps.
Discussions on Tuesday, October 11 focused on accountability, institutional collaborations, and achieving excellence with constraints -- making hard decisions as institutions and individuals undertake serious leadership roles in the state's higher education arena. These sessions helped identify some of the most important steps that Texas higher education institutions can take in advancing the quality of higher education to achieve excellence.