AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Board of Regents today authorized the completion of negotiations for a lease between The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College that would help ease the transition as the two institutions begin the separation process after two decades of sharing a campus, resources and programs.
The Board also determined that the downtown Brownsville location is the preferred location for the future UT Brownsville campus if satisfactory terms for a real estate transaction can be reached with Texas Southmost College. UT System and UT Brownsville staff members were directed by the Board to continue negotiations with the leadership of Texas Southmost College with the aim of establishing a promising future for UT Brownsville and Texas Southmost College as independent entities and return to the Board with final recommendations.
Regents also approved continuing discussion with the City of Brownsville to acquire nearly 70 acres of city-owned land, including 48 acres known as Lincoln Park, to be used as part of a future downtown UT Brownsville campus. Recommendations and terms of the acquisition would come back to the Board at a later meeting.
“This transition remains one of my top priorities. I am committed to making sure this transition process moves forward to the benefit of both UTB and TSC,” Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said. “The University of Texas is dedicated to a vibrant and growing presence in the Rio Grande Valley. I remain optimistic about our negotiations with Texas Southmost College and hope to finalize an agreement in the very near future.”
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2012 enrollment of roughly 216,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.9 billion (FY 2013) including $3.1 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.