The class, called “The Politics of Education,” is taught by Dr. Greg Thielemann in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.
Visiting legislators included Representatives Dan Branch from Dallas, Donna Howard from Austin, Diane Patrick from Arlington, Roberto Alonzo from Dallas, and Jimmie Don Aycock from Killeen. Each legislator who visited campus sits on one of a number of committees in the Texas Legislature that addresses education funding and policy.
“These courses, sponsored through the UT Dallas Center for the Study of Texas Politics, provide our students with unique opportunities for learning,” Thielemann said. “We might be the only campus in the state where the people who wrote the budget explain themselves to the students who live with it.”
"With the help of the members, President Daniel and Amanda Rockow, we have created the absolute best program on the study of Texas politics in the state,” he said.
Most of the visiting legislators had the chance to tour campus, including the new residence hall, dining facility and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory. Some also had the opportunity to have lunch with President Daniel and to learn about hallmark activities, such as the arts and technology program.
UT Dallas Vice President for Public Affairs Amanda Rockow coordinated the visits. “It’s my goal to bring as many state legislators to campus as we can,” said Vice President Rockow. “One-third of the University’s budget comes from the state of Texas, so these individuals are incredibly important to the future of UT Dallas. The synergy we’ve developed with Dr. Thielemann’s class is typical of the great collaboration we often see at this university.”
Rockow plans to work with Dr. Thielemann to bring more legislators to campus in the spring and fall of 2010.