breaking news

Police say Waffle House shooting victim was from Texas, had family in Austin area

Keep in-state tuition for unauthorized immigrants, UT chancellor says


The chancellor of the University of Texas System said Thursday that he supports a state law that allows some unauthorized immigrants to pay cheaper, in-state tuition to attend public institutions of higher learning.

“I think it is the morally right thing to do,” Chancellor Bill McRaven said at an event in Austin sponsored by the Texas Tribune.

Some state lawmakers want to repeal a 2001 law that allows certain immigrants without legal papers to pay in-state tuition rather than the higher rates charged to out-of-state residents. To qualify, a person must have graduated from a high school in the state, lived in Texas for at least three years and agreed to file an application to become a permanent resident as soon as eligible.

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made repealing the law a cornerstone of his campaign, and it is part of the platform for the GOP, which enjoys strong majorities in the House and Senate. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has called the law “noble” but “flawed,” saying it lacks an enforcement mechanism to ensure that a student seeks legal status. Abbott also has said he would not veto a bill repealing the law.

McRaven said it wouldn’t be right to erect an obstacle to higher education after the state has invested in educating those students through high school.

The CEO of the 15-campus system also said he favors maintaining a state law that gives university governing boards control over tuition. He reiterated his view that concealed handguns should not be permitted on college campuses.

After just five weeks on the job, McRaven said he has much to learn before making decisions about broader challenges such as lifting graduation rates and propelling some campuses into the ranks of top-tier research universities. He said he plans to visit the UT System’s West Texas oil lands, in part to ensure that the system is employing the best practices for protecting the environment.

McRaven, who looked fit after a bout with the flu, said he took the job “to be an educator,” to help more students learn and graduate. He was previously a four-star admiral in charge of all U.S. special operations forces. He retired from the Navy in August after 37 years of military service highlighted by his direction of the 2011 raid in which al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed at his compound in Pakistan.

Some commentators have speculated that McRaven’s star quality and leadership skills might make him a future president’s choice for a Cabinet-level position. Asked whether he was done with government service, he sidestepped the question and said he “can’t think of a better place” than the UT chancellorship.

In response to a question, McRaven said faculty and dean salaries across the system’s campuses are “below the average” for the nation’s greatest universities.

“If you want a great football coach, you’re going to have to pay for him,” he said. “If you want a great dean, you’re going to have to pay for him.” But he acknowledged that coming up with the funds for faculty members is a challenge during tight budget times.

This story has been updated to include the complete name of Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, who appeared in a photo at the event.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

NEW INFO: Police say Waffle House shooting victim was from Texas, had family in Austin area
NEW INFO: Police say Waffle House shooting victim was from Texas, had family in Austin area

Metropolitan Nashville police have confirmed that 20-year-old Joe Perez Jr., one of four victims who were killed in a shooting at a Waffle House near Nashville on Sunday, was from Texas and had family in the Austin area. In a Facebook post on Sunday, Trisha Perez, who media reports have identified as Joe Perez’s mother, asked for prayers for...
Round Rock driver hit motorcyclist he knew, left scene, police say
Round Rock driver hit motorcyclist he knew, left scene, police say

A Round Rock driver is accused of hitting a motorcyclist he knew while driving on Interstate 35 in Georgetown and leaving the scene, according to an arrest affidavit. Logan Vance, 27, was charged with accident involving injury, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Police were notified at about 3 p.m. Thursday about a collision...
Austin 7-year-old becomes youngest girl to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro
Austin 7-year-old becomes youngest girl to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro

When 7-year-old Montannah Kenney told her mom she wanted to climb to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, her wish was to be on the pinnacle of the volcano pointing toward heaven and close to her dad, who died five years ago. Last month, Montannah, who lives in Austin, became the youngest girl ever to ascend the 19,341-foot mountain, the tallest in Africa...
TRAFFIC UPDATE: All I-35 lanes now closed after Round Rock crash
TRAFFIC UPDATE: All I-35 lanes now closed after Round Rock crash

Both directions of traffic on Interstate 35 in Round Rock are closed near Westinghouse Road after a multi-vehicle wreck involving a dump truck, Round Rock police said. The dump truck crashed around 2 p.m., and two motorcyclists crashed from the subsequent spill, police said.  No one was hospitalized after the crash, police said. 
She asked The Rock to the prom. His response amazed her
She asked The Rock to the prom. His response amazed her

An awesome high school senior invited Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to her senior prom by posting a video of herself in an outfit paying homage to The Rock’s famously dorky 80s look and showcasing her superb collection of Rock gear. “Will you ‘Rock’ it at prom with me?” Katie Kelzenberg asked. Check it...
More Stories