SENATE COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS 
                               Monday, March 14, 2005 
                                     2:00 p.m. 
                           Capitol Extension, Room E1.016 
         Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule  
         11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Nominations  
         was held on Monday, March 14, 2005, in the Capitol Extension,  
         Room E1.016, at Austin, Texas. 
         MEMBERS PRESENT:                        MEMBERS ABSENT: 
         Senator Jon Lindsay                      
         Senator Bob Deuell 
         Senator Gonzalo Barrientos 
         Senator Kevin Eltife 
         Senator Mike Jackson 
         Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. 
         Senator Jane Nelson 
         The chair called the meeting to order at 4:13 p.m.  There being  
         a quorum present, the following business was transacted:  
         The following members arrived after the roll was called: Senator  
         Eltife and Senator Jackson.  
         Senator Nelson moved adoption of the minutes from the previous  
         hearing held on March 7, 2005; without objection, it was so  
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Ken Armbrister for an  
         introduction. Senator Armbrister introduced John Barnhill who  
         was appointed to the University of Texas System Board of  
         Regents. Armbrister gave a brief bio on Barnhill, who worked his  
         way through the ranks of that little creamery in Brenham, Texas,  
         and has since retired from Bluebell Ice Cream. Barnhill is a  
         University of Texas Alumni as well as a past UT Alumni  
         Association president and is also experienced with the  
         legislature; he was formerly chief of staff for ex-Governor  
         Price Daniels. Because of his leadership skills and dedication  
         to the public service, Barnhill was lauded by Armbrister as  
         being one of the best appointees in a long time. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator John Carona. Senator Carona  
         introduced his constituent and re-appointee to the UT Board of  
         Regents, Robert Rowling. Rowling is also a UT Austin graduate  
         and a graduate of Southern Methodist University's Law School. He  
         is chairman of Omni Hotels and president of TRT Holdings, Omni's  
         parent company. Senator Carona praised Rowling's vast experience  
         and proven commitment to service. 
         Both gentlemen made brief comments about themselves, their  
         families and time served on the Board, then opened themselves up  
         for questions. 
         Chairman Lindsay declared the two issues he wanted addressed:  
         tuition and admissions. 
         Rowling began saying that he had voted for the tuition increases  
         at UT Pam Am and UT Brownsville  because enrollment numbers have  
         increased so rapidly around the system with UT Austin being the  
         exception. Per capita was down by 15% for the last two  
         bienniums, and, noted Rowling, even with the increase in  
         tuition, UT is the second cheapest tuition figure in the ten  
         most populous states. Rowling offered other possible solutions  
         such as changing the student to faculty ratio; also try to  
         create other flagship institutions in Texas besides UT and A &  
         Barnhill agreed with Rowling saying he is thoroughly convinced  
         that enrollment is growing at such a rapid pace and appealed to  
         the legislature to fund as much as possible. He also said he  
         thinks the 10% rule allows a lot of students to get into schools  
         that normally could not get in but he thinks that it is wrong to  
         have only one set of criteria for admission. 
         Chairman Lindsay told the nominees he had picked up comments  
         from around the state's campuses and wondered if the 10 % rule  
         caused them to get better students. Rowling said that schools  
         like the University of Oklahoma and University of Georgia loved  
         our 10% rule because they were flooded with great students who  
         could not get admitted in Texas. 
         The chair recognized Senator Lucio who asked if they were open  
         to the idea of a medical school or a law school in South Texas  
         and along the border. Rowling replied that he thought a medical  
         school was needed more than a law school because we already have  
         enough lawyers. Lucio countered, saying we may have enough  
         lawyers but there are still a lot of kids who want to study law.  
         Lucio asked for their thoughts on finding alternative revenue  
         sources. Barnhill addressed the need to fill the gap concerning  
         the influx of Hispanic student. He also talked about research  
         dollars for technology filtering down and mentioned fundraising  
         although the schools were too young to generate much alumni  
         funding at this time. Lucio asked about having a student regent  
         and regents by region, mentioning his concern that his region  
         was unrepresented. Rowling said it would be hard for a student  
         from one of the UT campuses to know about all of them since they  
         were all different. Barnhill added that it would be difficult  
         for a student to know about the health institutions, such as M.  
         D. Anderson. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Vice-chairman Deuell who asked for  
         their thoughts about a bill that would require the regents to  
         have public testimony-Barnhill  and Rowling both said that the  
         meetings were too long and that taking time for public testimony  
         would be the main problem. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Barrientos who commended the  
         men on their service and thanked them for visiting his office.  
         Barrientos informed the committee that he had passed the top 10%  
         rule and had tried for ten years to get a student regent allowed  
         on the board but finally passed it off to a Republican who he  
         thought might have better luck. He quizzed the two men more  
         about why they thought a student could not handle the position.  
         Rowling said the time constraints would be hard for a fulltime  
         student to manage, Barrientos asked Rowling why a student could  
         not handle the schedule if he (Rowling) was able to do it.  
         Barrientos asked Barnhill about his previous comment on the  
         influx of Hispanics and questioned him on the ethnic breakdown  
         at UT Austin. Barrientos also cautioned them to really breakdown  
         the number of hispanics in an effort to differentiate between  
         native Mexican- Americans born in Texas and those from Bolivia,  
         Argentina and other Latin American cultures. Barrientos asked  
         Rowling how he planned to address under-representation. Rowling  
         said personally he thinks the 10% rule has done nothing to help  
         ethnic diversity based on the pre- Hopwood UT studies he has  
         read. Barrientos said he was also using a UT study that differed  
         from Rowling's and asked Rowling to check out the different  
         reports. Barrientos also asked Rowling for his sources on the 10  
         % rule figures. Barrientos stated he was against tuition  
         deregulation, saying there is no such thing as a free lunch but  
         that we can do something that is fair. He asked the men to help  
         establish a foundation in this rapidly changing culture and  
         At 4:57 p.m. Chairman Lindsay asked for a motion; Lucio so  
         moved. The committee voted 7-0 to recommend Barnhill and Rowling  
         to the full Senate for confirmation.  
         At 4: 58 p. m.  Chairman Lindsay announced that the committee  
         would vote on all the non-appearing nominees listed with the  
         exception of Rita Esther Baca, nominee to the Animal Health  
         Commission, who would be left pending. Lucio so moved and the  
         committee voted 7-0 to pass nominees from the following entities  
         to the full Senate for confirmation: Angelina and Neches River  
         Authority Board of Directors, Animal Health Commission, Texas  
         Economic Development Corporation, State Board for Educator  
         Certification, Lavaca-Navidad River Authority, San Jacinto River  
         Authority Board of Directors and State Securities Board. 
         Chairman  Lindsay asked for a motion to vote on the pending  
         business. Barrientos so moved; at 5:01 p.m. the committee voted  
         by 7-0 to recommend Geraldine "Tincy" Miller to the full Senate  
         for confirmation. 
         At 5:02 p.m. Senator Lindsay moved that the committee stand  
         recessed subject to the call of the chair.; without objection,  
         it was so ordered.   
         Senator Jon Lindsay, Chair 
         Jazen Wood, Clerk