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A Heavy Hand in Academic Affairs

During Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s time as a statewide elected official, higher education policy has often been at the forefront of his mind. As lieutenant governor, he formed a Special Commission on 21st Century Colleges and Universities in 1999.

And over the course of his decade and a half as governor, he has certainly had influence on the state’s colleges and universities, but he has at times pushed and pulled in contradictory directions.

In recent years, Perry has emerged as a strong critic of rising tuition. In 2011, he called on the state’s public universities to create undergraduate degrees that cost $10,000 including books. During the 2013 legislative session, he encouraged the passage of a bill that required public universities to offer payment plans that fixed tuition at a set rate for four years. This year, he successfully pushed for the University of Texas System to keep tuition flat at its academic institutions.