A University of Houston Honors College student has been appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to serve as the student representative to the Undergraduate Advisory Committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Krystafer Redden, a sophomore majoring in political science and history, says he's ready for the challenge.
"My primary job is to serve as the sole student voice on the committee and I feel that's extremely important," Redden said. "It's intimidating, scary - perhaps terrifying - once one realizes that it's not just about you; it's not just about your university; it's about students in every public college and university across the state, which is a huge group of people."
The Undergraduate Advisory Committee provides recommendations to the board regarding the direction of undergraduate education in Texas. Redden applied for the position and later was appointed by Perry. His two-year term begins in June. He will travel to Austin at least twice a semester and will be a non-voting member of the committee.
While he anticipates working with the office of UH President Renu Khator, Redden will speak for undergraduates in all Texas public institutions of higher education. He already is aware of some concerns.
"For example, the ability of universities across the state to pursue research opportunities both for undergraduates and their faculty in terms of increasing research dollars and output. There also are concerns with keeping academically competitive students here in the state of Texas," he said.
Redden was urged by Professor William Monroe, dean of the Honors College, and Elwyn Lee, UH vice president for student affairs, to submit his name for consideration.
"The University of Houston is proud that Krystafer will be representing undergraduates in Texas," Lee said. "He is representative of the high-caliber student at UH and will be a smart voice and advocate for undergraduates who want the best education they can have in order to serve their communities, cities and state."
Monroe echoes those remarks, saying Redden's talents will serve him well in this position.
"Krystafer is a perfect choice. He has worked hard to become informed on the issues and has developed into an able communicator," he said. "Most importantly, he is a passionate advocate for undergraduate education."
Redden's professional goals may include politics or law school, but he's hopeful that his appointment as a spokesperson for Texas undergraduate students leaves a lasting impression.
"I hope to be able to say that undergraduate education in the state of Texas has improved," he said.
For more information on the UH Honors College, visit http://www.uh.edu/honors/.
For more information on the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, visit http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=06D60E40-A8F2-62A7-D4C60EE4AE8A0049&flushcache=1&showdraft=1