Francisco Cigarroa got word from the White House on Friday that his presence was requested on Monday. Not surprisingly, the chancellor of the 15-campus University of Texas System adjusted his schedule accordingly.
Cigarroa was among a dozen or so higher education leaders who met with President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to discuss ways of boosting graduation rates and curbing the rising cost of college. The chancellor described the meeting for the American-Statesman upon his return to Austin this evening.
“He wants to better understand systems and universities that are putting forth bold and comprehensive plans to enhance excellence and contain costs,” Cigarroa said of Obama. “He started by saying he’s concerned about the increasing debt that students have. It was very much a roundtable discussion.”
Cigarroa said he (the chancellor) outlined a nine-point plan, approved in August by the UT System Board of Regents, that aims to improve graduation rates, contain costs and elevate academic programs. He said he thought the plan resonated with the president.