Looking at Higher Education Funding in Texas—and How We Got Here

(Patrick) #1

Pretty comprehensive look mainly from the UT side of things.

Universities, including those in the UT System, started to see pushback to major initiatives. When former UT Chancellor William McRaven, BJ ’79, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus, announced the system was purchasing 300 acres of land in Houston for $215 million to expand the system, lawmakers were concerned it would hurt the University of Houston System. Many grew curious as to how the system was spending its money, especially after the payout from the Available University Fund grew to $603 million in 2017 due to the fracking boom. The UT System is now selling the land.

Lawmakers have also been critical of UT System’s decision to build new offices in downtown Austin.

“I think that a lot of the public feels the universities are more interested in empire building than they are in tending to needs of students,” Paredes says. “Those are public perceptions we have to address whether they’re accurate or not.”