Welcome to the Office of Federal Relations. We hope you find this site useful in learning about our work and answering any questions you may have about the federal government's role in higher education. OFR serves as the center for UT System initiatives in Washington, D.C. in support of the System's mission to provide high-quality educational opportunities for the enhancement of human resources of Texas, the nation, and the world through intellectual and personal growth. The Office was established in 1999 and charged with tracking and analyzing federal legislation and regulatory issues affecting higher education and health care; it also seeks to raise the UT System institutions' profile in D.C. and nationally by promoting and publicizing the components' missions and activities.
Each year federal funds constitute more than 60 percent of the UT System's research expenditures. Along with competing for scare resources on an annual basis, our institutions are impacted by myriad federal legislation that affects our university community. These factors underscore the critical need for frequent communication with government officials and coordination with the larger higher education community to effectively strategize to impact federal public policy. We accomplish this by continuously informing decision-makers of our components' resources, policy positions, and the achievements of the UT System students and faculty.
The Office of Federal Relations provides support and service to our institutions by: strategic planning and issues management; responding to legislative inquiries; monitoring and analysis of federal legislation; identifying opportunities for our faculty to participate in congressional hearings, executive branch advisory groups and task forces, and national education forums; and promoting UT System campuses' research and policy agenda with agencies and Congressional members.
The Office of Federal Relations has established a method of setting federal priorities each year so that they can be conveyed coherently and carried out effectively. Each campus president develops an agenda for his or her institution and shares them with OFR. We also identify federal opportunities and share them with appropriate officials at our institutions. Faculty, administrators and staff can draw upon the additional support of OFR staff by keeping us informed of initiatives and contacts with federal officials and members of professional associations.
We are also working to identify and nurture future leaders in Texas. OFR manages the Bill Archer Center, which gives students throughout the System an opportunity to intern and study in D.C. The Program has welcomed three outstanding classes of undergraduate students. Currently four campuses are participating and we hope to include more in the near future.
The Office of Federal Relations is committed to strengthening our service to the entire university family by helping to formulate and implement appropriate systematic approaches to federal public policy issues that affect the learning, teaching, health care, and research functions of our campuses. We look forward to working with you to build on the UT System's strengths and expand our ability to serve our students, our state, and the nation.