Straight Talk Texas #21: A Conversation About Higher Education

Grab a front row seat for conversations by state and policy leaders on topics that matter both now and in the future.

Straight Talk Texas – A Conversation About Higher Education
Recorded On: May 28, 2020

In this previously recorded episode of Straight Talk Texas, Texas 2036 President and CEO Margaret Spellings discusses higher education with Dr. Michael Sorrell and Dr. Heather Wilson.

Dr. Michael Sorrell is the President of Paul Quinn College located in Southern Dallas. Dr. Sorrell has led this four year liberal arts-inspired historically black college since 2007. As the longest-serving president in its 147-year history, he turned Paul Quinn into a work college, the first in Texas and the only urban work college in the country. Dr. Sorrell was recently named Higher Education’s President of the Year by Education Dive and one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine.

Dr. Heather Wilson, President of the University of Texas El Paso took the helm at UTEP in 2019. She came to UTEP after serving as Secretary of the United States Air Force and as President of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and Engineering & Science Research University in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dr. Wilson also represented New Mexico and the United States Congress for 10 years. She graduated from the US Air Force Academy in the third class to admit women.

These two trailblazers joined by our own leader, Texas 2036 President and CEO, Margaret Spellings. Also, a former President of the University of North Carolina system and a former Secretary of Education, discuss the role of higher education in longterm economic recovery, innovation, and the path forward for the next generation of workers.

What is Straight Talk Texas?

Today, it’s more important than ever for people across Texas to have access to discussions they can trust about challenges facing our state now and in the future. To be the best place to live and work, we need to listen, learn and be aware of what is on the minds of Texas leaders, policy experts, educators and health professionals.

If history is any guide, Texas can come back strong from the current challenges we face. It’s up to all of us to work together to make sure that happens. So, take 20 minutes and 36 seconds to listen in as state leaders talk about health care, education, workforce development and government performance. We hope these videos will provide a front-row seat to conversations that will illuminate and help shape the historic decisions currently facing our state.