Governor Abbott appoints Copperas Cove alum to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board


Cove Leader-Press


Matthew Smith, a 2018 alumnus of Copperas Cove High School, was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott as the student representative to serve on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for a one-year term.

Smith is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas State University. He is the son of Jack Smith and Larissa McMullin. 

“I appreciate the Governor’s Office for awarding me this high honor. I look forward to representing my fellow students on the Texas Higher Education Board and moving forward the 60x30TX Plan,” said Smith. “I’d also like to thank my family and hometown Copperas Cove for instilling me with the values that have brought me this far.”

The 60x30 TX Plan that Smith referred to is part of the THECB’s strategic plan, with four goals to reach by 2030, that at least 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 will have a certificate or degree; that by 2030, at least 550,000 students in that year will complete a certificate, associate, bachelor’s, or master’s from an institution of higher education in Texas; that by 2030, all graduates from Texas public institutions of higher education will have completed programs with identified marketable skills; and that by 2030, undergraduate student loan debt will not exceed 60 percent of first-year wages for graduates of Texas public institutions.

The Commissioner of Higher Education serves as the CEO of the THECB. There are nine board members who are appointed by the governor for six-year staggered terms, with Smith’s position as a non-voting student representative a one-year term. 

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board was created by the Texas Legislature in 1965 to represent the highest authority in the state in matters of public higher education. 

Governor Abbott’s office made the announcement on Tuesday, along with announcing the appointment of 10 student regents to their respective universities for terms set to expire on May 31, 2022. 

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