Legislators Discuss Politics During Campus Visits

This fall, five state legislators visited the UT Dallas campus to talk to students about politics and how decisions are made in the Texas Legislature.  The undergraduate course was offered through the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences.  Several of the legislators also had the opportunity to tour campus and to visit with Dr. Daniel.  Guest legislators included:

  • Rep. Stefani Carter of Dallas
  • Rep. Helen Giddings of Dallas
  • Rep. Tryon Lewis of Odessa
  • Rep. Jim Pitts of Waxahachie
  • Rep. Kenneth Sheets of Dallas
President David E. Daniel and Rep. Jim Pitts

President David E. Daniel and Rep. Jim Pitts

Legislators shared with students the challenges that come with making decisions on funding and policy in Texas.  Students learned about compromise, the influence of outside interests, and the incredible amount of work it takes to be a state legislator.  The class, called “The Modern Political Economy of Texas,” was taught by Dr. Greg Thielemann through the Center for the Study of Texas Politics.

“This program is another example of why UT Dallas is such a great place to teach and learn,” said Thielemann.  “The students really appreciate the opportunity to learn from those who are at the forefront of Texas’ policy challenges.  The Texas Center has been very fortunate to have so many members take the time to visit us over the years.”  

Rep. Kenneth Sheets

Rep. Kenneth Sheets


During their visits, several of the legislators spent time touring the campus and discussing issues with President Daniel and with Vice President for Public Affairs Amanda Rockow. For instance, when House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts visited the campus, President Daniel and Vice President Rockow spent their time with him discussing the impacts of funding decisions during the 82nd Texas Legislature.”

Vice President Rockow explained, “The Office of Public Affairs works to bring as many legislators as possible to our campus to experience firsthand the University’s success. I love bringing these officials to speak to Dr. Thielemann’s class because our students consistently impress our guests more than Dr. Daniel or I ever could.  Our students leave a lasting impression, which helps us when we call on these legislators in the future.”

Rep. Stefani Carter and Vice President Amanda Rockow

Rep. Helen Giddings

President David E. Daniel and Rep. Tryon Lewis

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].