You should read your own paper. Again, only a very small percentage of the chamber members that even bothered to fill out the survey in the first place agreed with switching systems. 5-to-1 voted for a destination university. Switching systems and having a destination university are two entirely different things. Just because a board votes to support a decision doesn't mean that is representative of its members.
I mentioned in another blog but I'll mention it here also...the city likes doing studies and hiring consultants. They should do a study or hire a consultant to determine why all of the UHV students head out of town on the weekends. (hint: doesn't have anything to do with UHV, UH, TAMU, or who's in charge of what). Kind of hard to have a destination university when nobody wants to stick around. A&M can't fix a city.
Ed,We'd be happy to consider such a poll. We wish it were that easy to settle the question for you. We'll caution again that our online polls are not scientific and reflect only the views of those who choose to vote.One other clarification: The Editorial Board is a group of people who decide on Our Views for the Viewpoints page, not one Editor at Large. We have the list of people posted here and on our Viewpoints page.Vox,The Victoria chamber has more than 1,000 members. Their board voted to endorse the legislation to switch to A&M. You can argue that the switch might not produce the desired outcome of a destination university, but you're incorrect to say the chamber doesn't support the bill.
The bill is not to develop a destination university...that's the outcome that is hoped for, but the bill is to transfer UHV to TAMU. The survey statistics show that while a vast majority are in favor of a destination university, a very small number are in favor of switching systems. Article after article implies that the transfer of UHV to TAMU will result in a destination university. No one really knows if that is the case. Ultimately it's up to the leadership at UHV--it doesn't matter what system is in control.
Your opinion column has an entire section about how UH does not support UHV. I was forwarded an email that Interim President Smith sent out to UHV:
in part..."Although the future of the university may remain a subject of public controversy, the university itself is continuing, as indeed it must, to plan for how it can accommodate an increasing residential population for the next ten years and more—based on the assumptions that can be made at this time. A facilities master planning committee has been meeting all year—with representation from faculty, staff, students, and the UH System. A consulting firm, Community Development Strategies, was hired last fall to produce an analysis of student housing needs through 2020 and to advise on housing resources potentially available and ones additionally required to meet the needs. Also, a group of UH architects, known as Design Labs, has been meeting with the committee to develop specific plans and planning scenarios--detailing space currently available, how that might be most efficiently use, and what other space needs will emerge by when. Many hours and many thousands of dollars will have been spent in facilities planning intended to ensure that growing residential enrollments can be accommodated in a timely, well-organized, and cost-effective way."
Certainly sounds like UH is doing its part to me. It also sounds like the UHV and UH leadership are doing a good job of managing themselves without the input of city leaders who really have no idea with regards to the day-to-day operations between UH and UHV.
We seem to be covering the same ground at this point in the comment thread. Yes, we think a 5-to-1 response by chamber members in favor of aggressively growing the system is overwhelming. (Thanks for providing the story link, Edith.) Yes, we think an endorsement of the legislation by the key public bodies in and around Victoria is convincing -- they are elected, after all, to represent the city, county, etc.
Even so, we acknowledge that individual opposition certainly exists on this and just about any issue you can name. And we agree many people have no opinion.
We've tried to respond to many of the points raised because we think a vibrant destination university would dramatically enhance the community. We don't want to appear argumentative or suggest we have all the answers. We believe, though, in those actively working to make a positive difference. We strongly disagree with those suggesting people in favor of this legislation have bad intentions or motivations.
If anyone wants to voice a contrary opinion, we welcome letters to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also will continue to present all sides to this complex issue in our news coverage.
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Editorial Board said:
"What we've said -- and the facts support -- is that the Crossroads community is united in support of this bill."
According to the survey that EdithAnn posted, 1,000 members of the Victoria Economic Development Corp. and the Victoria Chamber of Commerce were surveyed, and 173 responded (17.3% response rate). Of those 173, 75% were in favor of switching systems. So that's about 130 people in favor of switching systems. That's 13% of the total surveys sent out that were in favor of switching systems.
Are these the facts that you are talking about that show "that the Crossroads community is united in support of this bill"? Wow.
Are the opinions of VEDC and Chamber of Commerce members the only ones that count? How about the other 50,000+ residents? How many surveys were sent to students, to UHV employees, to other communities in the crossroads?
Lamppost says "You can throw economic impact analysis, studies, and other facts at these posters all day long, but you can't change their minds." Just because someone says something is fact doesn't make it true. I think the advocate's response to the survey is a good example of that.
What is your exact position on the issue (I've forgotten throughout all the articles)? Are you for the bill because you feel UH isn't supporting UHV, because you'd prefer to have A&M here, or for some other reason?
By the comments and responses I do understand now that the Advocate is just like all main stream news papers and sources -- The attitude - "Pay attention and I will tell you what to think!"
Legion,You promote another falsehood -- that this is somehow all about extending Airline Road and developing property out toward the Airport, that somehow all of these hundreds of people are in on this conspiracy and have no interest whatsover in what's best for the community.
You keep saying this even though many people have said repeatedly that the campus location isn't the central issue. Texas A&M is not committed to the Airline location or any other.
Rather, those supporting the legislation have said over and over that they want a long-term plan for the growth of the Victoria campus. The Buehlers offered land as a goodwill gesture, not because they needed some uncertain public venture to get even richer than they already are.
The UH system said Thanks but no Thanks, we have more room at the current campus than is needed at this time. The board of regents report in 2010 claimed 48% building utilization.
The city leaders should just fess up, sell the $9 Million in bonds and extend Airline and quite looking for excuses to do it.
Can I use your own articles to point the basic disagreement about the UH/TAM switch out?
Ok, I will...
"For our ongoing coverage of the University of Houston-Victoria's expansion efforts, I recently read a 200-page feasibility study. The study, commissioned by local government last year, basically details why a new campus should be built near the airport."
"Essentially, growth to the east and northeast are the most viable directions the city can expand. Significant easterly development has occurred following the construction of Loop 463 and the planned overpasses and the extension of Airline Road will further development to the east and northeast."
There where reasons why Victoria cannot grow much more to the North/ Northwest and South, but blaming the terrain and the Guadalupe river?
It is obvious what all the hullyabaloo is about.
You and a few others have a laundry list of complaints against many community leaders. Many of these concerns have nothing to do with the future of UHV or higher education in the Crossroads.
The key difference in our opinion is that we think those involved in this effort genuinely want what's best for the community. They have gotten involved and informed because they care about our future. They aren't doing this for any sinister reasons or to line their pockets.
Did you actually read the 'Closing the Gaps' report, or do you make all of your statements based on the executive summary?
I read the whole thing. It's all about improving current programs, improving recruitment, offering more scholarships, and basically increasing enrollment and retention and making what is available better. I didn't see anything about constructing more buildings.
Many in favor of this bill would like everyone to believe that universities across the state are busting at the seams and at capacity, and that we need more buildings to handle 500,00 more students. That is not the case.
The mindset of many in this area is that new buildings solve problems. They are but a fresh coat of paint on a deteriorating wall. The report is in line with this--there are underlying issues that need to be worked on in order to get our current institutions' enrollment and retention numbers up.
Bighorn,Here is a link to the state report called "Closing the Gaps," which we have referenced in news coverage and opinions during the past couple of years:
The executive summary notes: "Texas must take bold steps for the future success of its people. This higher education plan outlines the goals of closing the gaps in higher education participation and success, in educational excellence, and in funded research over the next 15 years. It is by no means a list of all desirable actions in Texas higher education, but rather outlines the four challenges which are the most critical to overcome for the future well-being of our state."
I am might be in hot water with this site and I don’t care. When will yall stop being be the VCED ADVOCATE and be the VICTORIA ADVOCATE !!!!!!!! You said that , “ UH and A&M are restricted by law from campaigning for or against this.” But you explain to me why Texas A&M and Texas Tech gave campaign contributions to the Author of the bill ( State Rep Morrison)? Can you also explain to me why the Crossroads Education Commission membership are citizens of Victoria? Why is the focus of the Commission is UHV and not the high drop out in the VISD school districts. As voter, a taxpayer, and a citizen in the crossroads area, I have the right call out what I see wrong in this area.
How can you say the Crossroads area are all behind it when my hometown are not saying a word? When someone asked you that question, you throw up Victoria College as a reason for respect?
I am also a college age person. How can a person go to a newly built University, when there are no jobs especially with HB3015 being the law.
Who ever the "editorial board" is, needs to take a lesson in logic. My comments on this board are to the point of supply and demand of educational needs of the State, and how UHV currently fills a nitch in our region. Your reply is to cite some unknown demand of half a million students in the future. In what time frame? In what fields? In what regions?
Who authored your studies?
Using your means of thinking, TAMU is responsible for a 20% decrease in the population of Kingsville in the last 20 years, and UH is responsible for a 15% rise in the population of Victoria in the same period of time.
"Our point is that UH doesn't have a long-term plan for sustaining this success. "
And the point that most people not in favor of the legislation have is that at this point no one knows what A&M's plan is. Only speculation and assumptions.
It baffles me that the words of those against the legislation always get turned around to be against TAMU coming here (ahem...Lamppost). Unfortunately not everything is so black and white. Let me state again, as has been said probably hundreds of times at this point, that most of those opposed to the bill have nothing against A&M coming here. The issue, rather, is the process that city leaders took to get to this point.
I also looked at the list of supporters on the tamuv.org website. Hardly representative of the citizenship--economic development, builders associations, and city government...oh, and the whopping 274 'likes' on Facebook...Cherry Berry has over 700.
It was only a matter of time before Godwin's Law came into play. You're right, Edith, that simply stating the same thing over and over doesn't make it true.
This is an editorial board opinion, so, yes, it contains a bias. We're in favor of what's best for the community.
In our editorials, we've drawn the conclusion that the community is united in favor of the legislation based on the many public entities that have endorsed it. In our news stories, we haven't offered any of our own opinions, reporting only on the discussions and the outcome of these votes.
VBB, we offer the Valley as one example of the UHV recruiters' success. They also have three of the 16 largest cities in the country from which to draw. Our point is that UH doesn't have a long-term plan for sustaining this success. Recruiters have not focused on the Crossroads out of respect for VC. Nonetheless, a vibrant destination university in Victoria surely would expand the opportunities for higher education for all students here, too.
Victoria leaders seem to think the Rio Grande Valley will provide all the students the University will need to become a top notch "destination university" since those students will "have to go somewhere". Wrong, "most" of those students will not leave the RGV, of the ones that do leave, a few will come to Victoria.
I was under the impression the Commission for education, or whatever they are called, was going to track how many students in Victoria went on to higher education....what has their study found thus far?
Okay, I tried to just not have to come out and say it--your coverage of this issue is slanted, biased, and not entirely true.
YOU keep printing that this is an idea that is embraced by virtually everyone in the region, yet you have failed to provide substantiation of that contention! Thirteen agencies does not mean much when it took me just minutes to find more than that the have not made a committment on this.
My rub is the Victoria Advocate's insistance that everyone is in favor. We're not, and for a variety of reasons. The number of agencies that endorse this is immaterial. The paper's HONESTY in reporting on this issue is material.
Hitler said it best--"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it." That's the way propaganda works.
"They also have an informed view of UH's partnership with Victoria."
Do you mean that the UH system opened a campus in Victoria 37 years ago, or that the UH system approved downward expansion, bought a dilapidated hotel for $9M to turn onto dorms, launched a sports program , has increased enrollment?
That kind of informed view? Or some other informed view?
Pat,State taxpayers, tuition, federal grants and private fund-raising provide most of the revenue for all public universities. If a university attracts more students, funding will follow over the long-term. This session will be challenging for all public entities. Community leaders are pushing for the Victoria campus to get a larger share of state support.
I'm still wondering who will wind up paying for all of the changes that will have to be made if TAMU comes to town. With the lege slashing the education budget as we speak, where would the fund come from?Patrick Barnes
We've covered in this and many previous opinions that the state has set a goal of providing higher education to at least 500,000 more students. These additional students need to go somewhere, and the initial recruiting success for UHV indicates the Victoria campus has a great deal of potential.
Ultimately, we think this is because Victoria is a great place. You indicate you think otherwise.
Likewise, Edith, we think the plan was "hatched and plotted," as you describe it, by leaders with only the best interests of the community in mind. They also have an informed view of UH's partnership with Victoria.
We think every city council, every school board, every county commission, every drainage board and every homeowners association could endorse the legislation and you would still say it wasn't enough. We don't expect a unanimous view about whether the sky is blue. We agree with you that a lot of people aren't paying attention to this complicated issue and may not care one way or the other. Even so, we maintain a vibrant destination university would dramatically improve the region, and that's why we've been consistent supporters of this effort.
Okay, then using your reasoning for this universal support, let me contribute this—
Goliad County Commissioners have not passed a resolution for the change.
Dewitt County Commissioners have not passed a resolution for the change.
Jackson County Commissioners have not passed a resolution for the change.
Calhoun County Commissioners have not passed a resolution for the change.
Refugio County Commissioners have not passed a resolution for the change.
Lavaca County Commissioners have not passed a resolution for the change.
Gonzales County Commissioners have not passed a resolution for the change.
Cuero City Council has not passed a resolution for the change.
Yorktown Council has not passed a resolution for the change.
Ganado City Council has not passed a resolution for the change.
Point Comfort City Council has not passed a resolution for the change.
Refugio City Council has not passed a resolution for the change.
Hallettsville City Council has not passed a resolution for the change.
Moulton City Council has not passed a resolution for the change.
Gonzales City Council has not passed a resolution for the change.
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi Alumni Association has not endorsed the change.
The Facebook page is a overwhelming success. 274 folks ‘like’ it. How many Victoria area folks are on Facebook? Gee, even 1980 people ‘like’ the Advocate on Facebook.
To say that not one entity has spoken out against the change is disingenuous, deceptive and silly. You seem to be making the assumption that their silence is an endorsement for. I think their lack of an endorsement speaks volumes.
And since some folks apparently do not pay attention, I’ll state for at least the 39th time, I don’t care which system ‘owns’ the local campus. I do care about how this plan was plotted and hatched, and how the facts and information were skewed to bolster a position held by a few, and are still being skewed.
And what proof is there that Texas needs another 4 year "destination" university. The leadership of Victoria (and the Editorial Board of the Victoria Advocate) have yet to prove that Texas, the Region, or Victoria have a need.
With Victoria campus enrollment less than 1,000 "in person" students, it might be brought into question the downward expansion, and even the very existance of a 4 year program. Victoria should consider itself fortunate to have such a luxury afforded it's limited population base.
Present your evidence, Advocate. Mine is based on population, and current enrollment. What is your based on? Good intentions? The road to hell is paved with them.
Among the elected bodies to endorse the bill are the Victoria City Council, the Victoria County Commission, and the Goliad City Council, Edna and Port Lavaca city councils. No Crossroads elected body has opposed it. To characterize the support as coming from a couple of "social clubs" is wholly inaccurate. It's even inaccurate to use that description for the Victoria chamber of commerce and the Victoria Economic Development Corp. and the Crossroads Commission on Education, which all support the legislation.
As you know, the decision rests with state legislators. In our story about the meeting, Branch said legislators didn't have time now to work out all of the details of the bill: http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/...
If the decision to switch were up to Crossroads elected bodies, the change already would have happened.
Yes, these comments reflect the views of the Advocate's editorial board. Its members are listed here and on our Viewpoints page: http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/users....
Every fact we've presented here and in this opinion is substantiated. We stand by our characterization of the specific opinion we referred to as silly. We didn't describe multiple opinions as such, as you state.
Is "EdiorialBoard" an official representative of the Victoria Advocate? It seems unprofessional to dismiss the opinions of other users as "silly" and then to state unsubstantiated claims as facts.
Now, maybe I have misunderstood the purpose of the meeting, but I did get 100% of my information on the proposed meeting from an Advocate article, and Jared’s blog. Was the news article incorrect in some manner?
If you are going to continue to insist "...the facts support -- is that the Crossroads community is united in support of this bill", them please be forthcoming with those facts. Twenty folks on the Commission on Education, a handful of Advocate editors and the City Council do not reflect the views of the entire city. Neither of my city councilmen polled their constituents as to our desires. A couple of social clubs’ support is not significant.
There are no real FACTS to support this switch. If there were, we would have seen them made public. But, making them public would have thwarted the plans of those on a mission.
Again, if this is so supported, then why the meeting? To hear again how much ‘some’ want this, or to hear how ‘many’ don’t?
Park and Edith,Yes, that's how a representative democracy works. We elect people to represent us. But you know that.
The same handful regularly comment against the change, and they're certainly entitled to their opinions. They represent only themselves, however. No one has elected this handful.
What we've said -- and the facts support -- is that the Crossroads community is united in support of this bill. UH and A&M are restricted by law from campaigning for or against this. We hope to hear more during the June meeting from both systems.
If this proposed switch is so universally accepted as a good idea by those in Victoria, then what is there to discuss?
Could it be that the Houston area is opposed? Could it be that--and let me say I noticed your use of the words 'many' and 'some' when referring to the callers to Austin--there were enough nays to make the committee think there was more than one side to this issue, and they might bear hearing? Could it be that at least someone is not buying into the 'emergency'?
Again, if this is such a done deal, why meet?
Nice try at spin, but it doesn't work.
Pat,We have spoken personally with various UHV students from the Valley who say Victoria feels like a perfect fit for them. Recruiting success supports this opinion as well. The Valley is a rapidly growing region with thousands of students in need of opportunities for higher education.
Bighorn, Even if we accept your silly premise that all Victoria's leadership is bad, the Crossroads region still is a good place to grow a university.
Edith and Jack,We've reported before that Tech was an interested partner, too. Ultimately, those involved decided A&M was a better choice. We have no reason to think A&M or Tech want a three-way discussion. If they do, we wouldn't oppose that.
And, yes, Branch said he heard from many supporters of the change. He also heard from some opponents. We've listed before the many Crossroads public bodies that have endorsed the change. You can argue they don't represent the views of the community, but that's an unsubstantiated position to take.
Zero,You're correct that it would have been easy for Branch to do nothing. He sees the problem and wants to move toward a solution. We're encouraged by this significant step.
Article reads that "In particular, UHV has been appealing to students and parents in the Rio Grande Valley". They have access to several schools closer to the Valley. Kingsville and Corpus Christi to name two. I'm too lazy to research the rest. Is it a coincidence that both or those schools are in the TAMU system? Just speculating! lolPatrick Barnes
If an honest evaluation is done, neither system will want anything to do with Victoria. With our current leadership, Victoria College is more than we deserve.
Mas ganja, Willie?
JackDeuce, I understand Tech made serious overtones on this. Wonder why they were overlooked? I really don't know why I ask--it is about someone pushing their weight around, and trying to settle the score for demoting someone's friend. That, and some spare land out at the airport.
mytwocents, "Politicians don't have meetings when it appears there is considerable momentum to actually do something - they have meetings when it benefits the politician." BINGO!
"I did what you asked! Not my fault it didn't pass...but don't forget where to send that campaign contribution!"
Zero--do you really believe only those in favor of the 'switcheroo' contacted folks in Austin?
Surely you're not gullible enough to believe that. Are you?
Silly Edith. Politicians don't have meetings because doing nothing is popular. Doing nothing is the natural state of politicians. Politicians have meetings when it appears there is considerable momentum to actually do something. If the UH/ATM switcheroo was politically dead, as you tend to believe, it would never get a meeting.
By the way, the news that Cat was driving the dow upwards with its earnings is a good thing. One nice tidbit in a bad news Friday.
You wrote: "Branch initiated this meeting after hearing from many supporters of the change." You do not indicate that this is a direct quote (I added the quotations), so is this what Branch said, or is this the Advocate's spin on the 'why' of the meeting?
I tend to believe the meeting was called because of all the folks who contacted the Higher Education committee and said they disagreed with the bill.