[asa] No Need for ICR to Satisfy Education Requirments

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Fri Mar 13 2009 - 15:56:26 EDT

From NCSE:




House Bill 2800, introduced in the Texas House of Representatives on March
9, 2009, would, if enacted, in effect exempt institutions such as the
Institute for Creation Research's graduate school from Texas's regulations
governing degree-granting institutions. The bill's sole sponsor is Leo
Berman (R-District 6), a member of the House Higher Education Committee. A
member of NCSE called Berman's office to ask whether the bill would apply to
the ICR's graduate school; a staffer answered that he thought that it would,
adding that he believed that the bill's objective was to aid institutions
that want to teach creation science or intelligent design. Berman himself
seems not to have offered any public statement about HB 2800 so far.


As NCSE's Glenn Branch recounted in Reports of the NCSE, "When the Institute
for Creation Research moved its headquarters from Santee, California, to
Dallas, Texas, in June 2007, it expected to be able to continue offering a
master's degree in science education from its graduate school. ... But the
state's scientific and educational leaders voiced their opposition, and at
its April 24, 2008, meeting, the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board
unanimously voted to deny the ICR's request for a state certificate of
authority to offer the degree." Following the Texas Higher Education
Coordination Board's decision, the ICR appealed the decision, while also
taking its case to the court of public opinion with a series of press
releases and advertisements in Texas newspapers.


Now, however, it seems that HB 2800 would take the matter out of the board's
hands altogether. Subchapter G of Chapter 61 of Texas's Education Code
serves to regulate "the use of academic terminology in naming or otherwise
designating educational institutions, the advertising, solicitation or
representation by educational institutions or their agents, and the
maintenance and preservation of essential academic records"; it provides,
inter alia, "A person may not grant or award a degree or offer to grant or
award a degree on behalf of a private postsecondary educational institution
unless the institution has been issued a certificate of authority to grant
the degree by the board [that is, the Texas Higher Education Coordination
Board] in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter."


HB 2800 would amend subchapter G by providing, "The provisions of this
subchapter do not apply to a private educational institution, including a
separate degree-granting program, unit, or school operated by the
institution, that: (1) does not accept state funding of any kind to support
its educational programs; (2) does not accept state-administered federal
funding to support its educational programs; (3) was formed as or is
affiliated with or controlled by a nonprofit corporation or nonprofit
unincorporated organization; and (4) offers bona fide degree programs that
require students to complete substantive course work in order to receive a
degree from the institution." Presumably the ICR would argue that its
graduate school satisfies all four requirements.


For Texas's HB 2800 as introduced (PDF), visit:


For chapter 61 of Texas's Education Code, visit:


(Could a faith and science organization meeting at Baylor this July write a
letter stating its' position on such a matter?)


Dick Fischer, GPA president

Genesis Proclaimed Association

"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"




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Received on Fri, 13 Mar 2009 15:56:26 -0400

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