Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA
Strategy, politics and Latino graduate education: A descriptive policy analysis of the South Texas/border initiative
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Anita Pankake
Dr. Marie Simonsson
Dr. Miguel Nevarez
Prior to 1987, appropriations to universities along the Texas-Mexico border were much less than in other areas of the state. As a result the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) v. Richards lawsuit was filed, claiming inequities for higher education funding. Between 1989 and 1995, the Texas Legislature approved a group of bills known as the South Texas/Border Initiative (STBI). The goals of this initiative were to: 1) provide equitable funding to nine universities along the South Texas border; 2) merge these regional institutions with the larger university systems in the state; and 3) create additional graduate programs at both the Master’s and Doctoral levels. Through a descriptive policy analysis (Patton & Sawicki, 1986), this study examined the policy origins and implementation of the STBI at these Hispanic-Serving Institutions and utilized Kingdon’s (1984; 2003) multiple streams model of agenda setting and policy formation. To achieve these purposes, the study: 1) described and analyzed the factors associated with the STBI; 2) discussed how the legislative funding addressed disparities in access to graduate education; and 3) examined the STBI utilizing a legislative policy agenda-setting model. Three groups of policy entrepreneurs were interviewed – the two lead attorneys who brought the LULAC v. Richards lawsuit forward; the four state legislators who were the most involved in passage of the STBI legislation; and the four university presidents who were involved in all three phases of the STBI – lawsuit, legislation and implementation. Document analysis provided additional insight into the Texas legislative policy process through the various phases of the STBI. Descriptive statistics of educational and financial data show these universities in South Texas have fewer programs, but make a large impact on the number of Latino scholars enrolling and obtaining graduate degrees. Among the conclusions found for this study, is the STBI can be considered a success due its educational and economic impact along the Texas-Mexico border. Institutions were able to expand educational opportunities and provide capacity building for programs. Finally, relationships are important in educating, negotiating and influencing the policy process.
University of Texas-Pan American
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