Panel Recommends TSU Remain Independent

A panel appointed by Governor Rick Perry is recommending Texas Southern University remain independent, but be held to the "strictest financial oversight." Houston Public Radio's Rod Rice reports.

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The report also recommends that the governor reconstitute the Board of Regents. It also calls for the legislature to provide emergency funding to TSU for expenses through fiscal 2007.

Houston state representative Garnet Coleman he is mostly in agreement with the report.

"The most important recommendation is that TSU remain independent. And clearly the rest of the items are designed to strengthen the university."

Perry in January appointed the advisory panel to come up with ways to improve TSU's finances, governance and mission. Coleman says that the call for a new mission needs to be clarified.

"I'd have to look further into the report to have a better understanding of what they mean by a 'new mission' as opposed to the existing mission as a multi-purpose institution for urban study, which is a proper mission for TSU. So the question is what is the new mission and is that something that I support or that my constituents would support."

Advisory panel chairman Glenn Lewis told the Associated Press that members want the Board of Regents to be different that the one that was sitting when most of the schools problems occurred.

But Lewis said some regents might not be responsible for the problems, depending on how long they had served. Lewis says the final decision on the TSU Board of Regents rests with Governor Perry.

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