The Texas Coordinating Board considers a request to make ACC a county-wide school, governed by its own board of trustees. The vote is held the following January.

A Look Back…

On Friday April 18, 1980, hopeful ACC administrators and interested Austin/Central Texas civic leaders attended a public meeting of the Advisory Committee for Community/Junior Colleges and Continuing Education of the Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University System. The purpose of the meeting was to determine whether ACC was capable of meeting its district’s needs. A “no” vote, however, might actually yield a positive outcome by leading to the establishment of a new Travis County district for ACC that could ultimately release the school from constraints imposed by its affiliation with Austin Independent School District.

The 1972 vote authorizing AISD to offer college credit and occupational and technical courses was overwhelmingly favorable, but the ACC of that era was not independent of the school district. It was an adjunct, a status that curtailed its ability to levy taxes and sell revenue bonds. The Coordinating Board was now considering a request that would make ACC a county-wide school and self-governing through its own board of trustees. A new Travis County Community College could be freed of the promise never to levy taxes on property-owners. If the Coordinating Board concurred, voters in the new district could resolve its own economic issues.

A steering committee set the following January 17, 1981, as the date for an election on whether to define the college’s boundary as the Travis County line. ACC President Cecil Groves told the committee that the ACC Board of Trustees had approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that was 16 percent higher than the current one. That also was the beginning of the Texas Legislature’s base year that determined state funding for the next two years. An expected increase in enrollment of as much as 20 percent meant the college may have to turn away as many as 2,000 students.

Along with the financial issues, candidates were lining up to compete for places on the new ACC Board of Trustees.

Source: Speak-easy, ACC Faculty and Staff Newsletter April 8 and 29 and June 17, 1980.