Physics and Accountability

Thanks to a Rick Perry-supported policy designed to improve higher education outcomes, Texas will go forward with plans to eliminate bachelor’s degree programs in physics at two of the states historically black colleges.

According to an article by Melissa Ludwig at the Houston Chronicle:

Earlier this year, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board identified 545 programs at public universities, community colleges and health institutions that were not producing enough graduates, including several at Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M.

On Thursday, the board rejected a final appeal to save bachelor’s degrees in physics at both institutions, over protests from TSU President John Rudley.

Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M are the only historically black public colleges in Texas.

Rudley protested that the decision to close the programs is unfair: “When you try to find a kid in the ghetto and expose them to these areas of study, no one has ever talked to them about what physics is all about,” Rudley said to Ludwig.

The physics program at TSU has produced one graduate in the last five years. Under the policy, colleges must graduate at least 25 students every five years for the academic major to remain in operation.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer