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UT Regents approve $18.3 billion budget for 2018

AUSTIN—The University of Texas System Board of Regents today unanimously approved an $18.3 billion operating budget for the 2018 fiscal year to fund operations at UT’s 14 academic and health institutions around the state.

The new budget represents a slight increase—2.5 percent—over the previous fiscal year, including an additional $176 million for instruction and academic support activities and $94 million more related to hospital and clinic activities. The budget also includes an increase in the share of the Available University Fund (AUF) that will go to UT Austin from 49 to 53 percent, providing $338 million in excellence funding for UT’s flagship academic institution.

“This is an excellent budget that clearly and emphatically puts the focus on the 14 UT institutions and I want to express my sincere gratitude to Chancellor McRaven and the UT System staff for their hard work in this effort,” Regents Chairman Paul Foster said. “There is no other university system in the state with the size, scope and reach of the University of Texas System. As a board, we have a deep commitment to the state of Texas to ensure budget priorities support the critically important education, research and health care missions of UT institutions.”

The UT System supports the work, discovery and innovation of 14 institutions across the state, educating more than 234,000 students and providing health care to millions of patients. Home to six medical schools and responsible for $3 billion in research annually, the collective impact of UT System institutions pushes far beyond Texas, influencing events and effecting change across the nation and around the world.

Enrollment continues to grow at UT institutions, from 190,903 in fall 2006 to a projected enrollment of 234,287 for fall 2017. Enrollment is increasing in virtual classrooms as well: 28,718 students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2011. For fall 2017, that number is projected to be 68,281.

In his budget presentation to the Board of Regents, Chancellor William H. McRaven pointed out that perspective is important when comparing UT System’s budget to other state university systems. During the past academic year, UT institutions educated 80,000 more students—including almost twice as many graduate students—as the next largest university system in Texas. The UT System has five additional medical schools as well as five more health institutions than the next largest system, and 30,000 more personnel than all other five Texas higher education systems combined.

“So, while the UT System respects the missions of—and enjoys collaborative opportunities with—our other state university systems, it is difficult to draw comparisons when discussing topics like budget and scale,” McRaven said.

McRaven also stressed an emphasis on a leaner, more efficient UT System Administration. The increase in AUF funding for UT Austin means a decrease for System Administration. The approved 2018 budget for System Administration trims 186 positions or 20 percent from the approved 2017 budget totals.   Of the portion of the AUF available to the UT System, 15 percent will be allocated to the UT System Administration—and those resources will be used almost exclusively to provide core functions and direct services to UT institutions.

“In summary, the 2018 budget focuses on providing support for students, faculty and patients and it reduces System Administration budget and personnel,” McRaven said. “Make no mistake, our mission is to support the 14 UT institutions and the students and patients they serve.”

Revenue for the UT System as a whole comes from a variety of sources, with tuition and fees representing one of the smallest streams – only 9.5 percent, or $1.8 billion. State appropriations this year account for $2.3 billion, or 12.1 percent, a 1.2 percent decrease from last year. Hospitals, clinics and professional fees fund the largest share of revenue, representing $7.9 billion, or more than 42 percent of the total funding sources.

UT System’s operating budget provides a wide range of services for Texans. Beyond the mission of higher education and research, a significant amount of health care is provided for uninsured and underinsured Texans and several initiatives are supported to improve K12 education in Texas public schools. The System’s extensive research and development advancements strengthen the Texas economy.

As part of the operating budget, regents approved $20 million—$10 million each for UT academic institutions and health-related institutions—of  Permanent University Fund bond proceeds for the highly successful STARs (Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention) program, designed to attract and retain the highest quality faculty. The STARs program is widely credited with helping UT institutions recruit and retain nationally recognized professors and researchers, adding to the caliber of UT faculty and ultimately to the strength of UT undergraduate and graduate students.

About The University of Texas System 
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical 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 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 234,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2018 is $18.3 billion, including $3.6 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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