AUSTIN – Regents today (Oct. 12) authorized the creation of a $10 million fund to enhance infrastructure at four University of Texas System institutions considered to be among the state’s emerging research universities.
The UT System Research Incentive Program, as it is called, will provide one-time matching funds to help the emerging institutions leverage private gifts dedicated toward expanding research productivity and faculty recruitment. Institutions eligible for program funds are UT Arlington, UT Dallas, UT El Paso and UT San Antonio.
“This undertaking adds momentum to the effort to create more Tier One institutions in Texas and illustrates the UT System’s commitment to addressing this critical shortage of major research universities in our state,” said Regents’ Vice Chairman Paul Foster of El Paso.
The program, which will be funded with bond proceeds from the Permanent University Fund (PUF), will match funds gifted to those universities using the following criteria:
“This new program gives us an exceptional opportunity to leverage state support and hasten profound change at our emerging institutions, putting them in the coveted position of being among the most competitive universities in the country,” UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said. “This program also complements our ongoing efforts to advance excellence at all of our System’s institutions.”
Earlier this year, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board identified seven Texas universities – among them four UT System institutions – as emerging research institutions; and the Texas Legislature authorized a $50 million matching fund that allowed those universities to draw on additional resources to help them expand research capabilities.
To achieve so-called “Tier One” status, universities typically must have research portfolios in excess of $100 million, outstanding academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and highly talented faculty, among other factors.
About The University of Texas System
The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's healthcare professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.