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Raymund Paredes, Texas' Higher Education Commissioner, Will Step Down Aug. 31

Raymund Paredes has served as the state's higher education commissioner since 2004.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
Raymund Paredes has served as the state's higher education commissioner since 2004.


After 15 years in the post, Texas' commissioner for higher education, Raymund Paredes, announced Thursday that he will retire effective Aug. 31.

He made the announcement at the start of a quarterly meeting of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, an agency he heads that oversees the state’s strategic plan for higher education, administers financial aid programs and acts as a repository of colleges’ and universities’ data.

“I'm resigning, I'm stepping down, I'm not retiring, I hope to remain active in higher education” in the state, Paredes said. His departure at the end of August will allow him to “make it through the session and do some of the follow up work that we always have to do.”

"I think it's time for new blood, I think it's time for new perspectives and I've enjoyed this position enormously," Paredes said.

He described his reason for departure as a "feeling it's time to go," saying he told a colleague "you know it's getting close to the end when you talk to members of the Legislature and they all know the punch lines to your jokes."

The chair of the coordinating board, Stuart Stedman, will lead the search for a new commissioner.

In a statement, Stedman said Paredes had been a “driving force” and the “chief motivator” driving progress toward the state’s previous and current strategic plans for higher education.

During his tenure, the coordinating board “reinvented developmental education across the state,” introduced outcomes-based funding at the state’s community and technical colleges, and launched an affordable baccalaureate program at more than 10 institutions, according to a release from the agency.

Paredes has served as commissioner since 2004. Prior to that, he was a professor and administrator in the University of California system and worked at the Rockefeller Foundation and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

Disclosure: Raymund Paredes and Stuart Stedman have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

Shannon Najmabadi is the higher education reporter at the Tribune, where she started as a fellow in 2017. She previously reported for the Chronicle of Higher Education, where she covered the gender equity law Title IX, fallout from an executive order on immigration, and a federal loan forgiveness program with an uncertain future. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.