Board & Commissioner

About the Board

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) was created by the Texas Legislature in 1965 to represent the highest authority in the state regarding matters of public higher education. Then-Governor John Connally’s charge to the THECB still applies today:

Former Governor Connally

“The greatest risk you face is an institutionalized system, with each college or university grasping for its own ends without regard to the needs of the people of the whole state, and perhaps without being aware of those needs. But over the years in Texas, we have come to regard each college or university as a separate institution, striving independently for success. In many cases regarded locally as a boon to the economy, it struggles to be all things to all people, willing to do almost anything that will assure its getting larger – larger in enrollment, larger in buildings, larger in number and level of degrees offered, larger in number of graduates, larger in number of alumni. And it remains in constant danger of mediocrity...”

John Connally39th Governor of Texas
Harrison-Keller

Harrison Keller, PhD

Commissioner of Higher Education

The Commissioner of Higher Education is appointed by the Board of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and serves as the CEO of the agency. Dr. Keller came to the Coordinating Board from The University of Texas at Austin, where he served President Gregory Fenves as Deputy to the President for Strategy and Policy. Previously, he served as Vice Provost for Higher Education Policy and Research and founded the OnRamps and Texas OnCourse initiatives. Earlier in his career, he served as Senior Education Policy Advisor and Director of Research for Rep. Tom Craddick during his tenure as Speaker of the Texas House, and as a project director at UT Austin’s Charles A. Dana Center.

Dr. Keller received his B.A. with honors from the University of Notre Dame, and went on to receive master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Georgetown University. He also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer. A native of the Texas Panhandle, Keller resides in Austin with his wife Gena and their three children.

Email the Commissioner

The Board

The Board of the Texas Higher Education Board (Board) is comprised of nine members appointed by the governor for six-year staggered terms and one non-voting student representative, who serves for a one-year term. The governor also appoints the Board’s chair and vice chair. The Board meets quarterly in Austin and all meetings are broadcast live on the internet.

The Board operates under publicly adopted policies and procedures.

Board members serve on one or more standing committees. 

The Board also includes an appointed non-voting student representative.

Fred Farias III
Fred-Farias

Fred Farias III, OD, FAAO

Chair
Term Expires: August 31, 2025

Donna N. Williams

Donna N. Williams

Vice Chair
Term Expires: August 31, 2023

S. Javaid Anwar

S. Javaid Anwar

Secretary of the Board
Term Expires: August 31, 2021*

Richard L Clemmer

Richard L. Clemmer

Term Expires: August 31, 2023

Robert P. Gauntt

Robert P. Gauntt

Term Expires: August 31, 2027

Emma W. Schwartz

Emma W. Schwartz

Term Expires: August 31, 2025

R. Sam Torn

R. Sam Torn

Term Expires: August 31, 2025

Welcome Wilson Jr.

Welcome W. Wilson, Jr.

Term Expires: August 31, 2023

Daniel O. Wong

Daniel O. Wong

Term Expires: August 31, 2027

Georgia Blackwell

Georgia A. Blackwell

Student Representative
Term Expires: May 31, 2023

*Members continue serving on the Board until the governor appoints their replacement.

Contact the Board

via USPS c/o THECB
PO Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711