The University of Texas-Pan American hosted about 30 educators from public and private institutions of higher learning for the annual meeting of the Association of Texas Graduate Schools (ATGS) Oct. 14 and 15.
UTPA was selected to hold the conference because Dr. Cynthia Brown, vice provost for graduate studies, is the association's president.
Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, UTPA president, greeted educators and praised the University's faculty and staff for their commitment to helping students succeed.
During the two-day conference, officials from colleges and universities throughout the state discussed challenges in responding to budget cuts while continuing to provide high-quality education.
Dr. Raymund Paredes, commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, addressed the group on the first day and updated them on the commission's efforts to receive more funding for higher education from the Texas Legislature and discussed the challenges of handling increased enrollments and making sure more students graduate on time and are prepared for graduate school.
"We are at a critical point in Texas higher education history," Paredes said. "We are in a situation where we've clearly succeeded in having the largest enrollment growth in the history of the state."
Paredes also said higher education in Texas needs to be reinvented across the board to ensure students succeed when they are in graduate school and the state remains competitive in the global job market.
The ATGS is composed of graduate school deans and other higher education officials from public and private institutions who work together on addressing issues concerning graduate school.
"The ATGS annual meeting provides an opportunity for the leaders in graduate education at public and private universities to share best practices. This is especially important as we accept the challenge to evaluate how to make graduate education more efficient and to better serve the needs of both students and the workforce," Brown said.