History of the UT System - Chronology of Events

History of the UT System - Chronology of Events
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"In a real sense there has been a University of Texas System since the beginning of The University of Texas on September 15, 1883. At that time the main university at Austin and the Medical Branch at Galveston were under the authority of the Board of Regents. Over the years, other branches and components were added to the system."
- Donald W. Whisenhunt, The Encyclopedia of Texas Colleges and Universities, 1986

"The University of Texas System was established gradually."
- Margaret C. Berry, The University of Texas: A Pictorial Account of its First Century, 1980

In the Texas Constitution of 1876, Article VII provided that "The Legislature shall, as soon as practicable, establish, organize, and provide for the maintenance, support, and direction of a university of the first class, to be located by a vote of the people of this State, and styled ‘The University of Texas’..." The Legislature vested the governance of the University in the Board of Regents of The University of Texas.

In 1881, the 17th Legislature passed an act stating:

That there be established in this State, at such location as may be determined by a vote of the people, an institution of learning, which shall be called and known as The University of Texas. The medical department of the university shall be located, if so determined by a vote of the people, at a different point from the university proper, and as a branch thereof; and the question of the location of said department shall be submitted to the people and voted on separately from the propositions for the location of the main university.

By vote of the people September 6, 1881, the Main University was located in Austin and the Medical Branch in Galveston.

In 1913, the Legislature created the Texas School of Mines and Metallurgy in El Paso and placed it under the control of the Board of Regents; in 1919, the 36th Legislature renamed the school, The College of Mines and Metallurgy, and it became a branch of The University of Texas. In 1941, the Texas State Cancer Hospital (now The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center) became a part of the University by act of the 47th Legislature.

This was followed in 1943, by act of the 48th Legislature, by the addition of the Dental Branch in Houston, and in 1949, the Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Thus, from early days, the University was envisioned as a statewide system of higher education. Succeeding legislatures have added other institutions, building The University of Texas System to its present scope of 15 components.

Key Dates

1876

The Texas Constitution was adopted. "The Legislature shall as soon as practicable, establish, organize, and provide for the maintenance, support, and direction of a university of the first class, to be located by a vote of the people of this State, and styled "The University of Texas."

1881

Enabling Legislation was passed. "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, that there be established in this State, at such locality as may be determined by a vote of the people, an institution of learning, which shall be known as The University of Texas. The medical department of the university shall be located, if so determined by a vote of the people, at a different point from the university proper, and as a branch thereof; and the question of the location of said department shall be submitted to the people and voted separately from the propositions for the location of the main university.

1882

Texas voters select locations for the main university (Austin) and the medical branch (Galveston).

1882

Cornerstone for Old Main laid. (Old Main Building at the medical branch at Galveston.)

1883

Classes begin at UT Austin on September 15, 1883, with 221 students (163 men, 58 women), and eight male faculty.

1884

First commencement is held in Austin on June 14, 1884.

1891

The Galveston medical branch campus opens.

1913

The institution now known as UT El Paso is created as the Texas School of Mines and Metallurgy, and became a part of the UT System in 1919. (In 1949, its name was changed to Texas Western College which remained until 1967 when its name was again changed to The University of Texas at El Paso.)

1923

Santa Rita No. 1 stikes oil. The first oil royalty payment to the Permanent University Fund was made on August 24, 1923 in the amount of $516.53.

1941

The institution now known as UT MD Anderson Cancer Center is created by the Legislature under the authority of the Board of Regents.

1943

The UT Dental Branch in Houston comes under the authority of the Board of Regents. (Now part of the UT Health Science Ctr. - Houston )

1948

The University of Texas Postgraduate School of Medicine was established in Houston. (Now part of the UT Health Science Ctr. - Houston)

1949

The institution now known as The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center accepted for administration by the Board of Regents.

1950

The Office of Chancellor is created by the Board of Regents. James Pinckney Hart is appointed chancellor.

1954

Logan Wilson is named acting chancellor. (Wilson also serves as president of UT Austin from 1953 to 1960.)

1954

Later that year, the Regents abolish the position of chancellor.

1959

The Legislature creates the South Texas Medical School (now part of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio).

1960

The Regents re-establish the position of chancellor. Logan Wilson (still president of UT Austin) is reappointed as chancellor.

1961

Harry H. Ransom is named chancellor. He serves until 1970. He also holds the office of president of UT Austin from 1960 to 1961. From 1963 to 1967 there is no office of president at UT Austin. As chancellor during these years, Ransom is the CAO of the Austin campus.

1963

The Legislature creates the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (now part of the UT Health Science Center - Houston).

1965

The institution now known as UT Arlington is transferred to UT from the Texas A&M system.

1967

The Legislature changes the names of institutions within the UT System, giving them uniform designations.

1967

The Legislature creates the UT School of Public Health in Houston (now part of the UT Health Science Center - Houston).

1969

The Legislature creates the UT Medical School at Houston (now part of the UT Health Science Center - Houston).

1969

The Legislature creates the UT Dental School at San Antonio (now part of the UT Health Science Center - San Antonio).

1969

UT Dallas is established by the Legislature.

1969

UT Permian Basin is established by the Legislature.

1969

UT San Antonio is established by the Legislature.

1971

Charles A. LeMaistre is appointed chancellor. He serves until 1978.

1972

The Board of Regents reorganizes the biomedical units in Dallas, Galveston, Houston, and San Antonio into four health science centers.

1972

The UT Health Science Center at Houston is established by the Board of Regents through consolidation of several other UT entities.

1972

The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio is established by the Board of Regents through consolidation of several other entities.

1977

The UT Health Center at Tyler joins the UT System.

1978

E. Donald Walker is named chancellor. He serves until 1984.

1979

The institution now known as UT Tyler joins the UT System.

1984

Voters approve a constitutional amendment extending use of Permanent University Fund Bonds to all institutions then in the UT or A&M systems.

1984

Hans Mark is named chancellor. He serves until 1992.

1989

UT Pan American joins the UT System.

1991

UT Brownsville joins the UT System.

1992

William H. Cunningham is named chancellor. He serves until 2000.

1999

Voters approve a constitutional amendment that allows the modernization of the investment and spending policies of the Permanent University Fund.

2000

R.D. Burck is named interim chancellor on June 1, 2000, and named permanent chancellor on December 6, 2000. He serves until 2002.

2002

Mark G. Yudof is named chancellor on June 21, 2002. He serves until 2008.

2008

Kenneth I. Shine is named interim Chancellor on April 1, 2008.

2009

Francisco G. Cigarroa is named chancellor on January, 9, 2009.

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