David Dewhurst really really doesn't want to take his legislative fingers out of the state universities's tuition decisions.
"We've expected tuition increases by all of our universities and I appreciate the fact that the UT Board of Regents has held off on the effective date of the fall 2004-spring 2005 tuition increases until Jan. 23," Dewhurst said Thursday after speaking to a Houston leadership development group.
"This will give our joint oversight committee the opportunity to be able to review all the universities' tuition increases and, as the law directs, review accessibility, affordability and accountability," he said.
Other major systems, such as Texas Tech and Texas A&M universities, also have approved tuition increases.
"Let's not prejudge," Dewhurst said. "I'm optimistic we are going to see the justification and the rationale by the universities."
The oversight committee has no power to reverse tuition hikes but can use its influence to apply pressure to universities if hikes are deemed inappropriate.
"An oversight committee reviews on a continuing basis the information and the data and if -- and I'm not prejudging -- but if a mistake is made it's able to highlight it and help correct it," he said.
Dewhurst said he remains confident in the way the Legislature deregulated tuition.