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Cannon calls out higher ed system

House Speaker Dean Cannon called out the higher ed system in his opening remarks to the session Tuesday, offering a surprisingly stinging tenor to improving the state's colleges. The House will have university presidents speak to its education committee starting this week. Cannon said lawmakers need to "stop playing musical chairs" with the university system.

From his prepared remarks:

"...after a steady stream of reform proposals, several originating from this House, we have a higher education system with no clear mission, universities pursuing overlapping agendas despite limited public resources, and our community colleges rapidly transforming themselves into 4 year degree institutions.  

"We have a Board of Governors unsure of how to exercise its authority or execute its mission.  And we, as a Legislature, and I freely include myself in this critique, have contributed to the problem by parochially advancing the interests of our local university or college at the expense of the system as a whole."

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