Open Campus is excited to announce that the Education Writers Association has named Kate McGee as one of its top beat reporters of the year.

Kate McGee

McGee is a higher education reporter at our partner The Texas Tribune. She regularly covers the influence of state politics on university campuses. Her reporting on Texas A&M’s botched hiring of a veteran Black journalist led to the resignation of the university’s president. She has also covered the impact of the state’s attacks on tenure and its ban on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

McGee is a member of the Open Campus Local Network. Open Campus local reporters are employed by their newsroom and receive additional coaching and support from our team of subject-matter experts. Open Campus is committed to deepening beat reporting across the country, and particularly in Texas, alongside its growing group of newsroom partners.

Kate’s “big-picture, analytical journalism” helped put into context the state’s ban on DEI and attacks on tenure at public universities, the EWA judges said. McGee won in the small newsroom category.

“In addition to detailing the political polarization that drove these proposals and breaking down the potential consequences of stripping them from higher education institutions, Kate also noted how they could affect the state’s efforts to make its universities more competitive at a national level.”

Education Writers Association Judges

Kate’s coverage of Texas A&M — which also included her reporting on the suspension of a professor accused of criticizing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — led to multiple op-eds in newspapers across the state and country. In addition to changing leadership, Texas A&M is in the process of considering more protections for faculty members.

Two other Open Campus reporters were finalists for beat-reporting prizes: staff reporter Charlotte West, who covers higher education in prisons, and Molly Minta of Mississippi Today.

EWA announced the awards results May 30 at its annual conference in Las Vegas.

About Open Campus

Founded in 2019, Open Campus is the only nonprofit news organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to higher education. It’s built on an innovative collaborative model, combining a national newsroom that knows higher ed deeply with local newsrooms that know their communities deeply. Open Campus has put local reporters on the higher-ed beat in partnerships with 14 newsrooms around the country. Learn more about our model