UT Chancellor Cigarra

The Texas Tribune reported on a “meeting of the University of Texas System Board of Regents where ChancellorFrancisco Cigarroa won unanimous approval for a plan addressing hot-button higher ed issues of the moment like productivity, efficiency and accountability.”

Major investments approved today include $50 million for a new Institute of Transformational Learning to develop online and blended learning programs, $30 million to bolster education and health care in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley and $10 million to establish a UT Horizon Fund — an evergreen venture fund intended to encourage research commercialization. Another $10 million will go to help implement the framework, including the development of a dashboard to track whether or not the desired productivity gains are being achieved.

One interesting aspect of the plan is an investment in learning management platform used by UT students:

Cigarroa indicated that a hint as to how some aspects of that dashboard may take shape may rest in an agreement that the board approved today with myEdu, an Austin-based web company that helps students — as well as parents and educators — peruse course and professor information and manage degree plans. Under the agreement, myEdu will dedicate staff to developing programs exclusively for each institution in the system that allows for such activities as degree auditing and evaluation, student and professor feedback, and electronic advising.

Denver-based Regent Alex Cranberg, a Perry appointees, backed the “visionary” plan. “Some might even call it radical,” Cranberg said.


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