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  1. “Texas universities propose two-year tuition freeze in exchange for nearly $1 billion in additional state funding” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news. As Texas lawmakers consider what to do with an unprecedented $32.7 billion state surplus, leaders of the state’s six largest public university systems are pitching that nearly $1 billion be allocated toward higher education. If lawmakers agree, these university chancellors pledge to hold tuition flat for all undergraduate students for the next two academic years. In a letter sent to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman and House Finance Committee Chair Greg Bonnen in mid-December, the university chancellors asked for more general-revenue funding as well as more funding for university employee health insurance and the program that gives free college tuition to military veterans and their children. “Our education mission is funded almost entirely by two sources of funding: state support and student tuition and fees,” says the letter, which The Texas Tribune obtained Tuesday. “Without increased state support, Texas institutions must look to additional efficiencies and then tuition and fees to be able to continue to maintain high quality education. In order to hold tuition flat for our students and their families, Texas universities seek increased state investment.” The letter is signed by six chancellors: James Milliken of the University of Texas System, John Sharp of the Texas A&M University System, Renu Khator of the University of Houston System, Michael R. Williams of the University of North Texas System, Tedd Mitchell of the Texas Tech University System and Brian McCall of the Texas State University System. Read more: https://www.gilmermirror.com/2023/01/11/texas-universities-propose-two-year-tuition-freeze-in-exchange-for-nearly-1-billion-in-additional-state-funding/
  2. UNT System Faculty, Staff, & Students, Happy New Year! I hope each of you were able to spend quality time with your family, friends, and loved ones during the winter break. A new year brings us many new opportunities and I am especially excited to begin this work in my new role as Chancellor for the University of North Texas System. I believe we have limitless potential to shape the future of North Texas and beyond, and I look forward to working with you as we lead our great universities and centers of excellence forward. The unfortunate reality is we will also have challenges to tackle together. Most recently, I know we have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years, and all over again the past few weeks as positive cases have increased with the omicron variant. Please know our top priority across the UNT System remains ensuring the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and community members. Additionally, our system leadership and universities continue to recommend following COVID-19 safety guidance and mitigation strategies including adherence to public health practices such as practicing good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, as well as screening for potential COVID-19 symptoms. You can stay up to date with these guidelines and recommendations at UNTSystem.edu/covid. We are exploring opportunities to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is available and accessible to those who are interested and eligible. We are also evaluating the potential for increased COVID-19 testing capacity throughout the entire system as another step to prioritize the health and safety of all. Thank you for your hard work and commitment to our collective success as we embark on a new journey together in 2022. I remain focused on our bright future in anticipation of the success we will see as our system and member institutions soar to new heights. Very respectfully, Dr. Michael R. Williams Chancellor and HSC President Link: https://www.untsystem.edu/chancellor-williams-new-years-message
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