Task force created to explore best practices in university-affiliated foundation relationships

The University of Texas System Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell has announced the creation of the Task Force on Best Practices Regarding University-Affiliated Foundation Relationships.

The Task Force is charged with making recommendations to the Board of Regents within 180 days to ensure that relationships between UT System institutions, the UT System and affiliated foundations are structured and equipped to serve as a national model for public universities.

“Philanthropy and the outstanding support that occur through university-affiliated foundations are very important to the UT System and our 15 institutions,” Powell said. “We want to absolutely ensure that those relationships have every opportunity to flourish and are completely aligned with the UT System mission.”

The Task Force will explore the best models for interactions with separately incorporated legal entities set up to benefit the UT System or one or more UT System institutions or operations. Individual budget units within the UT System that carry the historical name “foundation” but are not separate legal entities are not included in this review.

Task Force members will talk with each UT institutions president, seek the participation of the presidents and officers of affiliated foundations and include national experts in the dialogue. A representative of the Texas Attorney General’s office will provide advice and support to the Task Force.

The Task Force will consider:

  • Best structures for affiliated foundations/university interactions and reporting
  • Ideal location and staffing for foundation offices
  • Methods for request, record-keeping and provision of funding for university support to ensure no impermissible direct benefits to UT employees
  • Overlaps in foundation and university fund-raising
  • Compliance with today’s legal requirements concerning conflicts and tax issues
  • Enhanced delineation of roles of university and foundation activities to reduce confusion or ambiguity
  • Capitalize alignment between university-affiliated foundation and university missions

Task Force membership will include:

Regent Brenda Pejovich, UT System, Chair
Regent Robert Stillwell, UT System 
Regent Wallace Hall, Jr., UT System 
President Diana Natalicio, UT El Paso
President David Callender, M.D., UT Medical Branch at Galveston
Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., UT System, ex officio
General Counsel to the Board Francie Frederick, UT System, ex officio
Vice Chancellor for External Relations Randa Safady, UT System, ex officio
Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Barry Burgdorf, UT System, ex officio

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