Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's next for Laredo Community College?

These are the possible scenarios for our historic Laredo Community College. Representatives from the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges just wrapped up a visit to the college and according to their website, here's what might happen:

Why was Laredo Community College continued in accreditation for good cause and placed on Probation?
Laredo Community College was continued in accreditation for good cause and placed on Probation because it had exhausted its two-year monitoring period for complying with the Principles and had failed to demonstrate compliance with Comprehensive Standards
Access the Principles of Accreditation at

What will happen in June 2013?

SACSCOC Board of Trustees will consider the accreditation status of Laredo Community College following review of a Third Monitoring Report submitted by the institution addressing the standards cited above for non-compliance and the report of a Special Committee that will visit the institution in spring 2013. The Board will have the following options:
(1) remove the institution from Probation without a report or with a Fifth-Year Follow Up Report,
(2) continue accreditation for good cause and continue Probation, request an additional report, and authorize a special committee visit, or
(3) remove the institution from membership with the Commission on Colleges for failure to comply with the standards or failure to meet the provisions of good cause.
Commission staff will not speculate on what decision might be made by the Commission’s Board in June 2013.

For additional information regarding the Commission’s accreditation process, access

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Compromise keeps South Texas Medical School moving forward

Recent squabbling between different South Texas legislators was threatening to derail legislative efforts to create a top tier medical school in the Rio Grande Valley. Friday, however, proved to be a day of compromise that has kept the process going.  During the last couple of weeks, there had been substantial disagreement over the exact location of the proposed Medical School. The apparent compromise includes language that signals that the Valley will share in where the future medical school will be.

I guess in this particular case, Laredo is not considered to be in the Rio Grande Valley as often has been mentioned. With Hidalgo county figuring to get part of the proposed medical school, and considering that McAllen is in Hidalgo county, is it possible that McAllen is eating our lunch again?

Excerpted from The Texas Tribune

When Senate Bill 24, which contained the original language, was brought up in the House on Friday, an amendment was added that state Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, standing alongside the entire Valley delegation, said was a proposal from the UT System "that cemented us together."

"Like any family, we have squabbles, and like any family, we unite," Oliveira said.

The bill as amended creates an office to oversee undergraduate education in Hidalgo County and an office to oversee graduate education in Cameron County. It says educational programs for the first two years of students' medical education should primarily be run in Hidalgo, and programs for the third and fourth year should be run in Cameron. And it also says that the system must ensure that all existing facilities and resources are fully utilized.

"Ultimately, this leaves enough flexibility for the UT System to have a regional medical school," said state Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Harlingen, the author of the amendment.
After SB 24 clears the House, it will go to the Senate, where it is expected to be easily approved. With the support of more than two-thirds of the Legislature, the new university will be eligible to receive money from the Permanent University Fund, a major source of revenue that only certain schools are allowed to tap.

Heritage Foundation to GOP legislators: Don't legislate!

It looks like former GOP Tea Partier Jim Demint is on a roll: a negative roll that is.  A couple of weeks ago, The Heritage Foundation (HF) took quite a bit of fire when it was found that they had hired a eugenics (see: racist) proponent that subscribes to the notion that neither immigrants nor children or grandchildren will ever achieve the same IQ levels of other "Americans".

Now, NBC news has published a letter by their politically active arm, Heritage Action For America, that essentially tells the GOP house leaders to forget legislating and instead keep the spotlight on Obama's recent slew of troubles. 

You can read the letter for yourself below. So much for calling GOP members legislators.

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor:
For the first time, the activities of the Obama administration are receiving a sustained public vetting. Americans’ outrage over Benghazi is amplified by the Internal Revenue Service’s intimidation of conservative grassroots organizations and a cascade of negative headlines. There is the real sense the Obama administration has been less than forthright with the American people, the press and lawmakers.

Recent events have rightly focused the nation’s attention squarely on the actions of the Obama administration. It is incumbent upon the House of Representatives to conduct oversight hearings on those actions, but it would be imprudent to do anything that shifts the focus from the Obama administration to the ideological differences within the House Republican Conference.
To that end, we urge you to avoid bringing any legislation to the House Floor that could expose or highlight major schisms within the conference. Legislation such as the Internet sales tax or the FARRM Act which contains nearly $800 billion in food stamp spending, would give the press a reason to shift their attention away from the failures of the Obama administration to write another “circular firing squad” article.

Make no mistake, principled conservatives will still oppose bad policy if it comes to the floor. Rather than scheduling such legislation for consideration, we urge you to keep the attention focused squarely on the Obama administration. As the public’s trust in their government continues to erode, it is incumbent upon those of us who support a smaller, less intrusive government to lead.

Michael A. Needham
Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America