Dr. Rex Peebles Memorial
At the time of his passing, Dr. Rex Peebles was the Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, where he oversaw program approval for public institutions and private colleges operating in Texas for the last six years. Dr. Peebles fostered collaboration and worked tirelessly to engage institutions and legislators to implement thoughtful and needed public policy in Texas higher education. His recent work on legislation related to transfer will help ensure that Texas students progress through their degree programs seamlessly, earning only the hours they need for the degree and keeping costs affordable.
Prior to his work at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Dr. Peebles was the Vice President of Instruction at Midland College for eight years, a job he assumed after twenty years at Austin Community College where he served in various roles including faculty member, president of the faculty senate, department head of Government, and the first college-wide dean of Social & Behavioral Sciences. As a young man Rex served 2 years in the Marines, where he learned early lessons of commitment, discipline, and dedication to work that he carried throughout his life. Rex was a vocal and effective leader in every role he held, and he made a significant impact at each institution where he committed his time, talent, and energy.
Over the course of his career, Rex co-authored Texas Politics and Government: Ideas, Institutions, and Policies originally published in 1996, authored The Theoria and Praxis of Obligations to Future Generations in 2010, and regularly presented on his scholarship at professional conferences. He served in a section leadership role for the Texas Community College Teachers Association for many years, advocated for community colleges on various policy issues throughout his career, and served as president of the Texas Community College Instructional Administrators from 2005 to 2007. Rex was actively involved in the LEAP initiative (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) sponsored by the American Association of Colleges & Universities at both the national and state level. He served in 2014 on the AAC&U Design Working Group for General Education Maps and Markers that developed and recommended design principles and guidelines for general education competencies and proficiencies. He also co-chaired the launch of LEAP Texas. His service on this initiative reflected his commitment to equity-minded work in higher education that ensures that all students can engage in learning that demonstrates their inquiry-based and problem-based accomplishments.
Rex developed an extensive knowledge of rules and processes at every institution he served, and that knowledge was one key to his effectiveness, along with his dedication to the mission of the institution he was serving and to the benefits of higher education for civil society. He understood and modeled effective collaboration and leadership and was recognized with the Ray Williams Outstanding Leadership Award from the Texas Community College Instructional Administrators in 2010.
Rex was a one of a kind who left this world too soon. He was a Christian who always lent a helping hand. He loved to take his family on road trips. He taught his daughters that the value of a person was in their character and the importance of hard work. He was a shade tree mechanic. He could build and he could repair. He loved a good debate and a good story. Rex was a dedicated higher education professional, an engaging colleague, a loyal friend, and a devoted husband, father, and son. He will be greatly missed.