TSU Submits Reform Plan to Lawmakers

Texas Southern University has submitted to the governor a long list of changes it plans to make, the first step in a process that would eventually mean extra state funding for the school. Here's more from Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams.

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The so-called "rehab plan" includes changes in how the school's governing board oversees operations at the school and the addition of a permanent president. TSU has been under a cloud of suspicion since former President Priscilla Slade was fired in 2006. Governor Rick Perry has since replaced the university's board of regents with his own appointees. State Representative Garnet Coleman says TSU's plan has to align with what lawmakers want.

"Clearly the university has to come up with a plan based on law and fix whatever problems there are. But it's also a plan that the state would be committed to carrying out as well and that's why it has to have certain parameters because I would be committed to that, the governor would be committed to that, the speaker, the lieutenant governor as well as the school."

The state has already appropriated about $40 million for the financially struggling school, but that money won't be released to TSU until lawmakers approve the school's rehab plan. Coleman says it's important the students aren't punished.

"This rehabilitation plan, we've done something similar before on three different agencies and so in terms of operating the school, clearly you can't operate a school with no money."

TSU is the state's largest historically black university. There's no word on when or if the governor and state's legislative budget board will accept the proposed reforms.ξξ

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