COULD THERE BE A COMPROMISE AT TSU?

GOVERNOR: COME UP WITH A PLAN AND I WILL CONSIDER IT!

If the Texas Legislative Black Caucus can come up with a viable alternative to a state takeover of Texas Southern University, Gov. Rick Perry has agreed to consider it, representatives from both sides said Tuesday.

Perry asked the current TSU board of regents to resign Friday and proposed installing a conservator to implement reforms at the historically black university, which has been criticized over the past year for financial mismanagement.

The proposal drew criticism from many at the university and in the black community as well as an advisory board Perry appointed earlier this year. The advisory board said placing the university under conservatorship “would severely stigmatize the institution and greatly damage its ability to carry out its educational mission.”

Perry told members of the black caucus to come up with another plan that could be passed before the legislative session ends. The alternative must achieve the same goal as a conservatorship: making “fundamental, systematic, rapid changes” at the university, said Perry spokesman Robert Black.

“If members of the black caucus can bring us a tool… that gets us there, that they can get passed in the Legislature, then we’re willing to consider that,” Black said. “If not, then the governor is committed to turning this around and the only tool left is conservatorship.”

Black declined to outline features that a new option would need. “What the governor is not interested in is just the same ol’ thing: Well, let’s just appoint a new board and hope everything works out for the best,” he said.