Governor Rick Perry established the Task Force on Higher Education Incentive Funding, which will make recommendations to the governor, lt. governor and speaker regarding guidelines for implementing higher education incentive funding programs. Incentives for public colleges and universities will be based on student and institutional achievements that are aligned with state and regional priorities.
"Establishing an innovative incentive-based performance funding system is essential to furthering Texas' goal of having institutions of higher education prepare states for the demands and opportunities of the 21st century marketplace," said Gov. Perry. "We must change the paradigm from funding institutions solely based on students enrolled to funding based more on the quality of students produced."
The task force will submit their report no later than July 15, 2008. Their recommendations will focus on:
Structuring higher education funding to reward student and institutional outcomes that are aligned with state and regional priorities consistent with the objectives of H.C.R. 159. Examples include incentives for graduating students in critical fields such as science, math and engineering, graduating at-risk students and expediting time-to-degree and transfers from community colleges to four-year institutions; Use of the $100 million in incentive funding appropriated by the 80th Legislature; Establishing a system of incentive funding for all public institutions of higher education for consideration by the Texas Legislature during the 81st session.
The task force is comprised of the Commissioner of Education, presiding officer of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and five individuals appointed by Gov. Perry. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick will each appoint one individual to serve on the task force. The governor today appointed:
Kern Wildenthal of Dallas will chair the task force. He is president of the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center. He is a member of the University of Cambridge International Advisory Board, and served as a visiting professor and consultant at more than 60 medical schools, universities and research institutes worldwide. Wildenthal is also a board trustee of several Dallas-area foundations, as well as the New York-based Lasker Foundation. He is also a member of the Select Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness, established by H.C.R. 159. He is past president of the American Section of the International Society of Heart Research and a member of the Association of American Physicians, American College of Cardiology, and Institute of Medicine. Wildenthal received a bachelor's degree from Sul Ross State University, a medical degree from the UT Southwestern Medical School, and a doctorate degree from the University of Cambridge.
Bernie Francis of Carrollton is owner and CEO of Business Control Systems, LP, a professional services firm. Francis is chair of the Texas State University System Board of Regents and past chair of the Texas State Technical College. He is past chair and current board member of the North Central Texas Workforce Development Board. Francis is currently a member of the Governor's Business Council and serves on the Executive Committee. He is also a member of the Select Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness, established by H.C.R. 159. Francis was elected to three terms on the Carrolton City Council. Francis served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam era and received his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Woody L. Hunt of El Paso is chairman and chief executive officer of Hunt Building Corporation and affiliated companies, a privately owned investment, development, construction and property/asset management company. Hunt was previously vice chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents and chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company. Serving as a member of the Governor's Business Council, Hunt is a member of the Executive Committee and chairs the Higher Education Task Force, and is also a member of the Select Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness, established by H.C.R. 159. He recently served on the Commission for College Ready Texas. He is president of the Medical Centers of Americas Foundation in El Paso, the Board of Visitors of the U.T.M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the Development Board at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso, and chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation. Hunt received a bachelor's degree and master of business administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in management from the Claremont Graduate School in Pomona, California.
A.W. Riter is president of Riter Management Company L.C. and the A.W. Riter Jr. Family Foundation. He is an executive committee member of the University of Texas (UT) at Tyler Development Board and the UT at Tyler Health Center Development Board. Riter is a board member of the Tyler Health Facilities Development Corporation Board, UT Tyler Foundation, and College for all Texans Foundation. He is also a member of the Select Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness, established by H.C.R. 159. He is also an advisory council member of the UT System Institute for Public School Initiatives and a member of the Mercy Ships International Executive Committee. Riter received a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University and a master's degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Roberto Zárate of San Antonio is recently retired from Northside Independent School District after a 36 year career in education. He was principal at Mary Hull Elementary School for 16 years. Under Zárate's guidance, Mary Hull Elementary has been honored as a Texas Recognized School, a Commended Title I School, a Texas Blue Ribbon School and a National Blue Ribbon School. The school also received the Hispanic Magazine Exemplary School Award in 1999. He is a lifetime member of the Texas and national PTA, and was recognized by the National Association of Elementary and Secondary Principals as a Blue Ribbon Principal. He also received the Yellow Rose of Texas Outstanding Educator Award, bestowed by the Constance B. Allen Heritage Guild for Lifetime Learning. Additionally, he served on the board of directors of the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the Community Guidance Center, the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, the Alamo Area Rape Crisis Center, the Taft High School Band Boosters, the Harvard Principal's Center Advisory Board and the city of San Antonio Commission on Literacy. Zárate received a bachelor's from Howard Payne College and master's from San Diego State University in California.