Four Questions For Senator Kel Seliger

Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) is the chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Higher Education.

What’s your top priority for the 83rd Legislature?

The priority for any committee chair is to leave the process better off than we found it. Hopefully that’s what I’ll do.

UT tuition is frozen for two years. Will this continue? Will it increase?

I think inflation drives increases. Keeping tuition affordable for the largest number of people is the goal. Between increases and a need to cover costs, you need balance. You get balance by working with the institutions [of higher education]. That’s something our committee should work on with institutions.

Why do you think you were chosen to chair the higher education committee?

Probably good looks. No, I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the lieutenant governor; those reasons are his own. I think he has confidence in my ability to have a productive committee process.

What’s going to happen to the Top 10 Percent Law in the upcoming session?

I’m not a big fan of the Top 10 Percent rule. Something I’ve learned in talking with the institutions is that it has made an impact on diversity. But has it made an impact that justifies determining 70, 80, 100 percent of the incoming class? I think the answer is no. I think that’s something we’ll be working on with UT. Having the Legislature run the admissions department of any university is a bad idea.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

 

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