Records Appraisal Report:
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Texas Plan Files
Contents of this report
Agency Contact | Record Series Review
Internal links to series reviews
Texas Plan files
March 22, 2010, Tonia J. Wood, Appraisal Archivist
This agency contact information was current at the time of the report but may have changed in the interim. Please call (512-463-5455) for current contact information of the agency's records manager or records liaison for these records.
Records Management Officer
1200 E Anderson Ln
Austin TX 78752
Obsolete record series? Yes
Replaced by: Closing the Gap Higher Education Plan
Ongoing record series? No
Annual accumulation: unknown
141 cubic ft. stored at State Records Center
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) was responsible for desegregating and increasing the representation of Blacks and Hispanics in Texas institutions of higher education in order to comply with guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). To avoid enforcement proceedings, Governor William Clements developed a voluntary plan in compliance with the guidelines issued by OCR to desegregate and increase the representation of Blacks and Hispanics in Texas institutions of higher education. After submitting a provisional plan in 1981 and negotiating its terms with OCR, Texas submitted a final plan, which was accepted by OCR in June 1983. That plan, the Texas Equal Educational Opportunity Plan for Public Higher Education, known as the Texas Plan, was federally monitored and effective from 1983 to 1988. The Texas Plan files appear to document the development of the Texas Plan, approval of the Plan by the federal government, and compliance with the Plan. Records include correspondence, statistical reports, plans and planning records, studies, and court records, dating about 1976 to about 1994.
The only records I reviewed out of these 141 boxes were two boxes containing statistical reports. The statistical reports were prepared by the THECB for federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education and the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics). Reports include various versions and supplements of OCR Form 9000 and NCES Form 2300. The reports are computer-generated and were printed on continuous feed 11x17 dot matrix printer paper. Institutions of higher education currently file an IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) report with the Department of Education, which serves as EEOC's EEO-6 report. The IPEDS predecessor was the Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS). The NCES and the OCR conduct a single fall enrollment survey every other year that satisfies the data requirements of both offices. The agreement provides for the collection of race/ethnic and field of study data on alternate years of the annual fall enrollment survey. NCES serves as the data collection agency for the information, which forms the basis of the reports.
Files concern MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund), institutions of higher education, including community colleges, four-year universities, and health science centers, Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University (historically black universities), THECB standing and advisory committees, Adams case files, desegregation, and implementation of the plan. Correspondents include Kenneth Ashworth, Commissioner of Higher Education, and Charles D. Travis (former head of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and Employees Retirement System who served as consultant for some higher education institutions).
The Texas Plan files were created and maintained in response to the federal Department of Education Office of Civil Rights investigation into and oversight of desegregation of higher education in Texas. The reports to OCR and NCES were required to be submitted to the federal government to ensure compliance with various statutes, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's mission is to work with the Legislature, Governor, governing boards, higher education institutions and other entities to help Texas meet the goals of the state's higher education plan and thereby provide the people of Texas the widest access to higher education of the highest quality in the most efficient manner. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board was created by the Texas Legislature in 1965 to "provide leadership and coordination for the Texas higher education system to achieve excellence for the college education of Texas students." The Coordinating Board meets quarterly in Austin. The Board is made up of 9 members appointed by the Governor for six-year terms. The Governor also appoints the chairman and vice-chairman. No Board member may be employed in education or serve on a community college board of trustees. Board Members serve on the Standing Committees. Advisory Committees provide guidance to the board on various topics. The agency is headed by a Commissioner of Higher Education.
The Texas Plan was implemented in 1983 in response to an investigation of higher education in Texas conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) between 1978 and 1980. OCR's review of Texas' higher education institutions came as a result of the Adams v. Richardson case, which was filed in 1970 against the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) by the NAACP. The Adams case alleged that HEW had failed to implement and enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to eliminate racial discrimination in higher education. The NAACP sought a court order requiring HEW (and later, the Department of Education) to implement Title VI and initiate litigation against ten states that had already been found to be in noncompliance with Title VI.
In 1973, an order was entered requiring the Department of Education to investigate higher education in six states, including Texas, and to issue guidelines for desegregation efforts in those states. OCR conducted the investigation and concluded that Texas had failed to eliminate the vestiges of its former de jure racially dual system of public higher education. To avoid enforcement proceedings, Governor William Clements developed a voluntary plan in compliance with the guidelines issued by OCR to desegregate and increase the representation of Blacks and Hispanics in Texas institutions of higher education. After submitting a provisional plan in 1981 and negotiating its terms with OCR, Texas submitted a final plan which was accepted by OCR in June 1983. That plan, the Texas Educational Opportunity Plan for Public Higher Education, known as the Texas Plan, was federally monitored and effective from 1983 to 1988.
A second five-year plan was effective from September 1989 to August 1994, and continued the efforts of the first plan. It was initiated by Governor Clements without the need for a federal mandate. A third plan, Access and Equity 2000, effective in September 1994 and designed to take Texas into the next century, was created under the leadership of Governor Ann Richards to continue and build upon previous efforts.
In March 1996, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in the case Cheryl J. Hopwood, et al. v. State of Texas, et al., ruling that the University of Texas Law School violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when it used racial preferences in deciding which applicants to admit to the law school. The 5th Circuit's decision raised questions about Texas' ability to continue implementation of the Access & Equity 2000 Plan, in particular, the use of racial preferences by institutions to carry out the Plan's goals. After the decision, the Coordinating Board re-endorsed the Plan at its January 1997 meeting. The Board also called on institutions to vigorously pursue the Plan's goals but to use criteria consistent with current state and federal law in the areas of admissions, financial aid and student retention.
In February 1997, the State of Texas was notified by OCR that it was going to conduct a review of Texas' system of higher education "to ensure that former de jure state higher education systems have both implemented their OCR-approved desegregation plans and eliminated vestiges of the formerly de jure systems." The standard under which OCR conducted its review is set out in United States v. Fordice, a 1992 case where the U.S. Supreme Court held that any state with a history of segregation in higher education must implement affirmative measures, including racial preferences, to eliminate those vestiges. This standard differs from the one set out by the court in Hopwood, which allows use of racial preferences only when a state entity is acting to remedy the present effects of past discrimination.
During FY 2000, OCR resolved the compliance status of three of seven states that previously operated racially segregated higher education systems. Central to the process was applying the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Fordice (1994). In this case, the Supreme Court set out standards for determining whether states have met their obligations to dismantle all remnants of their prior segregated systems under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Title VI.
The agreement reached with Texas to address and resolve higher education desegregation compliance issues strengthens Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern, the state's historically black institutions. For example, 10 new academic programs were to be added at Texas Southern and eight at Prairie View. These were to include doctoral programs in Electrical Engineering, Juvenile Forensic Psychology, Educational Leadership, Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration of Justice.
During FY 2006, OCR continued to monitor implementation of its higher education agreements with the seven states, which continued to make progress in enhancing the programs and facilities of their historically black institutions and in carrying out the other commitments in their agreements. OCR continues to monitor the progress in those states to ensure compliance with Title VI.
(Sources: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website, http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/reports/PDF/0021.PDF?CFID=6758024&CFTOKEN=54037207, accessed March 4, 2010; U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Annual Report to Congress, 2000, 2006, http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/otherplanrpts.html, accessed March 4, 2010)
By type of material.
Because the institution reports are in paper format, the statistical data is not easily used or manipulated. THECB maintains the information electronically from 1988/1989 forward on its website. The NCES (recipient of institution reports via THECB) has preserved the electronic data files through the International Archive of Education Data.
Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access?
Known related records in other agencies:
IAED, THECB maintain electronic copies NCES/OCR of Dept. of Education receives reports from the institutions.
Publications based on records:
See list under Texas Documents Collection holdings below.
Internet pages based on records:
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has information available in several formats or systems on its website from 1988 forward:
Reports from 1999 to 2004 are available online at http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/Reports/HTM/0777.HTM.
Some of the same information, covering 2000-2008 is also available online at
Information in these reports is available dating 1988-1989 to 2010 on http://www.txhighereddata.org/Interactive/PREP_New/. Data collected from Texas public higher education institutions are summarized into management information system database tables for query access. These summaries of certified data are accessible through the PREP (Profile Reports Electronically Produced) system. Generally, information is available by institution or statewide for selected semesters. The data is summarized from CBM reports provided to the Coordinating Board by the public higher education institutions in Texas.
The International Archive of Education Data, which has the HEGIS data files dating from 1965 to 1986, is no longer available as a separate resource, but the data is still accessible through the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/access/index.jsp. Data files, documentation, and reports are downloadable from the website by members.
The International Archive of Education Data (IAED) is a project formerly sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the United States and other nations. Data from NCES formed the initial foundation of the Archive. The Archive, housed in and operated by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, contains a large number of NCES public-use research data holdings available to faculty and students at all ICPSR member institutions.
Series data from agency schedule:
Title: Texas Plan files; Reports, plans, surveys and studies
Series item number: 1.01.000; 00.00.000
Agency item number: AIN 359
Archival code: R
Institutions must maintain racial and ethnic data for a minimum of three years. In the case of litigation, a claim, audit or any other action involving the records, the data must be retained until the end of the action.
Texas Documents Collection holdings:
A report on the Texas Educational Opportunity Plan for Public Higher Education, 1989-1994
Master plan for Texas higher education 1995 progress report
Access and equity 2000 : the Texas Educational Opportunity Plan for Public Higher Education, September 1994 through August 2000 / Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Access and Equity Division; prepared by the Texas Plan Advisory Committee
Texas equal educational opportunity plan for higher education, 1983
Master plan : Texas higher education information system and EDP services, 1979
Annual narrative report on the Texas Equal Educational Opportunity Plan for Higher Education : covering academic year 1987/1988
Archival holdings of related records:
Texas Governor George W. Bush, General Counsel legal opinions and advice, Office of Civil Rights correspondence and notebook
Texas Governor Mark White records, Administrative Assistant’s subject files, Education
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Minutes, July 1988-present, 2.42 cubic ft.
College & University System Coordinating Board minutes, September 1965-April 1987
Texas Governor George W. Bush, Senior Advisor's Office, Education Issues Files II (Academics 2000 - Lyceum) [several files under higher education, Hopwood]
Texas Governor George W. Bush, Senior Advisor's Office, Education Issues Files I [several files under higher education, Hopwood]
The Texas Plan files document a significant effort by the state of Texas lasting about a quarter century to comply with federal mandates concerning desegregation in higher education. The files appear to include a variety of document types including administrative correspondence, meeting records, litigation files, plans and planning records, statistical reports, surveys, and studies.
Problems in compliance with federal civil rights statutes by Texas higher education institutions resulted in litigation in the late 1970s and the development of a plan by Texas governors Clements and White to improve the situation. Files used to develop the plan, including meeting records of an advisory committee, administrative correspondence of THECB head Kenneth Ashworth, and chronological files concerning the lawsuit Adams, have archival value. This issue remains significant—the Archives had a recent request from TSU for documents concerning the Texas Plan.
A large portion of the files is statistical reports for institutions submitted to the federal government by THECB to comply with specific statutes. Data on gender and race in higher education remains an important source to track continued compliance with federal law. The fact that the agency maintains this information electronically on its website back to 1988/1989 points to its continuing significance. The report information in the series has value, though the value is in manipulating the data electronically and producing reports over time for an institution or across institutions. HEGIS data files from 1965 to 1986 are available online via the International Archive of Education Data at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan. THECB retains the electronic data from 1988/1989 forward in its PREP system available online. I recommend the paper copies of the higher institution reports be destroyed.
Within the list of 141 boxes of Texas Plan files, 45 have been selected and marked for retention by the Texas State Archives because they appear to contain administrative correspondence of high level officials, meeting records, chronological files concerning the Adams litigation (which instigated the Office of Civil Rights investigation into Texas higher education), files concerning Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M (the two historically black universities in Texas whose complaints resulted in the investigation and litigation), MALDEF files (representing Hispanic interests), or desegregation files. Boxes containing statistical reports in paper format from higher education institutions may be destroyed because the information is maintained electronically by THECB from 1988 forward and by IAED from 1986 and earlier.
October 28, 2010—In 1999 or 2000 a portion of the files were returned to the THECB for staff use and during an office move in 2000 it appears most of the contents of those boxes were destroyed by THECB staff. The remaining boxes will be transferred to the Archives on October 29, 2010. [See emails in appraisal report file.]