Issues budding this spring

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Editor’s note: We anticipate covering the following issues as they unfold this semester.

Fisher v. University of Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether to hear Abigail Fisher’s allegations of racial bias in UT’s admissions policies. If it does, the top 8 percent rule and affirmative action policies nationwide could be drastically altered.

Tuition policy

The University’s tuition policy committee recommended that UT raise tuition by 2.6 percent for resident undergraduates and by 3.6 percent for nonresident undergraduates and graduate students for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. The committee submitted its proposal to President William Powers Jr. in November, and Powers forwarded the recommendations to the UT System Board of Regents in December. The regents will set tuition policy in March.

Formula funding

An academic advisory committee of the Higher Education Coordinating Board will submit a report by Feb. 1 to the higher education commissioner regarding the amount of funding per student the state will provide for the 2014-15 biennium.

Elections

As the Republican primary race moves into South Carolina this week, the electoral situation in Texas remains uncertain. The redistricting process has yet to be concluded, and whether Texas voters will need to present a photo ID at the polls is still an open question. This spring will see state primaries and local elections, and we hope to cover them as they relate to UT.

Higher education hearings

Born out of a statewide-turned-nationwide controversy regarding higher education, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency will kick back up this spring. The three hearings last semester dealt primarily with governance, so the upcoming hearings will explore excellence and transparency in higher education.