UT hasn't had a successful session so far

UT-Houston shut down, Budget being cut, Chancellor embarassed in front of the Senate and now this:

San Jac Central has/had a golf course. Been years since I was in that area…not sure if it’s still there. I think it was very popular when someone was in the mood to skip class.

Sam Houston State had Country Campus. It was literally a cow pasture mowed over. It was surrounded by other cow pastures…and on occasion, a cow would break through and get out on the course. Spent many an hour out there hawking balls out of those pastures. Followed most rounds with a moon pie and a coke. Ahhh, the memories.

When I played in HS ('70) we had our regional at the Country Campus. I stopped by there a couple of years ago and it really is a cow pasture.

I had no idea UT owned Lyons. I thought, as a municipal golf course, the municipality of Austin owned it.

Played a fair bit of golf there in law school. #2 is about a 500 yard Par 5. One day, I holed out from 200 yards out with a 4-iron for the only double eagle I’ve ever made. I’ll always have fond memories of the place.

Back to the topic, is it just coincidence UT overreached by circumventing the legislature on one land deal, and now the legislature is taking some land from them a couple of months later?

I guess this might have happened anyway, but perhaps the timing was sped up? The justice seems so poetic, that I wonder if one is related to the other.


This is probably much-ado about nothing, but here’s another possible hit against UT that directly impacts the PUF:

Now the Legislature is considering House Bill 1882, which would dramatically increase the power of hundreds of electric utilities, pipeline companies, oil and natural gas operators, and other companies to challenge and potentially reduce fees that the system charges for easements on its vast West Texas lands. The system estimates that it would lose $60 million in easement fees over the next six years.

Revenues from easements, oil and gas production, ranching and other activities on the system’s 2.1 million acres, an endowment established by the state in the 1800s, benefit 14 UT System campuses and 13 Texas A&M University System campuses and agencies. The two systems collected a total of $25.9 million in easement revenue in their most recent budget year.

In a twist, HB 1882 was filed at the behest of just one easement holder, the Rio Grande Electric Cooperative Inc. The cooperative has seen its fee for a 35-mile transmission line in Hudspeth County, which borders Mexico, rise from $55,000 in 1994 to $220,000. The UT System projects that the price will jump to $531,000 in 2024. Easement holders must pay a fee once every 10 years.

In an hour-long interview, the chancellor defended his actions, although he admitted that he made mistakes in the Houston move. He pointed out that higher education ended up faring relatively well in the legislative session — there was no tuition freeze, and universities didn’t face the draconian cuts that they feared. That is evidence that his relationship with lawmakers is better than some people think, he said.

There have been other issues, too. Kel Seliger, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, sharply criticized McRaven for the university system’s expanding size and budget and its “Taj Mahal”-like new headquarters being built in downtown Austin.

“What he was selling the Legislature, a lot of people weren’t buying,” said Seliger, who called McRaven’s relationship with lawmakers “strained.”

Seliger predicted lawmakers will stay out of any decision on whether McRaven will remain beyond this year, saying it’s a matter for the regents.

“We will work with whoever the chancellor is,” Seliger said. “Chancellors don’t matter. Systems don’t matter. The institutions and the education they deliver matter.”

“The chancellors of the state’s three other major university systems all held elected office before taking their jobs.”

Referring to Tech, A&M and Texas State.

Texas State’s system has 10K more students than UH. UH has 20K more students than Tech’s system. Not sure how UH is not a “major” university system if those two are included.

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