Leading the Way: TTU System Accomplishments in the 83rd Session
July 8, 2013
Chancellor Kent Hance issued the following statement today (July 8) with regard to the accomplishments of the Texas Tech University System in the 83rd Legislative Session.
Statement from Chancellor Hance:
One of the most important functions of the Texas Tech University System is to collectively represent its component institutions when the Texas Legislature convenes every odd numbered year.
During the 83rd Legislative Session, we worked diligently to communicate the priorities of our universities and secure the support needed for our continued growth. As a result, this was one of the most successful sessions in the history of the TTU System.
The State of Texas is investing substantially more in our component institutions, which will improve our overall operations, help increase enrollment and advance research. Earlier this year, the TTU System Board of Regents voted to not increase tuition, mandatory fees and housing rates for the 2013-2014 academic year at each of its universities. State funding continues to be critical to providing opportunities for students and equipping our faculty and staff with the tools needed to offer the highest quality education in Texas.
Listed below are some of the significant achievements from our efforts during the 83rd session.
- Component Creation: Our vision of a freestanding university in El Paso became a reality in the 83rd Legislative Session when Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 120 on May 18, 2013. The bill, authored by state Sen. José Rodríguez and sponsored by state Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, established the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso as the fourth component institution in the TTU System.
- Formula Funding: The TTU System worked with the legislature to increase base funding by $85 million for all of our components combined, improving each of our institution’s general revenue funding by 12 percent in the upcoming biennium. The legislature funded our significant growth in student enrollment and began to incrementally restore cuts from the previous legislative session. We remain committed to operating in an efficient and responsible manner as each of our component institutions consistently have a lower administrative cost of educating students than our peers.
- Texas Research Incentive Program: Created in 2009, the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP) allows for private contributions to emerging research universities designated for research to be matched with state funds. Since the program’s establishment, Texas Tech University has raised the most money for these matching funds in comparison to all other eligible institutions. The Texas Legislature increased appropriations for TRIP funds to more than $70 million in the upcoming biennium. Due to our fundraising efforts, Texas Tech University will receive 41 percent, or roughly $29 million, of these matching funds for gifts through January 2013.
- Research Development Fund: Texas Tech University’s growth in restricted research expenditures along with the increased funding for the Research Development Fund earned the university an additional $1.9 million in the upcoming biennium. These funds will advance our research enterprise, which is—among many things—providing the world with safer food products, developing wind power systems of the future and generating immeasurable economic activity in the region and state.
- Competitive Knowledge Fund: Our efforts to grow total research expenditures at Texas Tech University were rewarded with a doubling of funding from the Competitive Knowledge Fund. Texas Tech University received $6 million in the current biennium and will receive more than $12 million in the upcoming biennium. These funds are helping Texas Tech University recruit world-renowned faculty such as our recent hiring of three members of the National Academy of Engineering.
- Freshman College Funding: Angelo State University will receive $2.2 million in new funding for the upcoming biennium to enhance its Freshman College, which was established in 2012 to support retention initiatives and improve academic success of first-year students.
- Financial Aid:The Texas Legislature increased TEXAS grants by 25 percent, or $145 million statewide, for eligible students at institutions of higher education. Texas Tech University and Angelo State University received larger allocations from this program in the next academic year, which will partially restore previous reductions and help meet the growing demands from the increased number of qualified students.
- Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas: The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) is a vital resource that supports groundbreaking cancer research, prevention programs and services in the state. The Texas Legislature appropriated $300 million for the organization to distribute in the next biennium, strengthening the fight against cancer and our momentum in attracting these funds. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Texas Tech University are leaders in cancer research and have been recipients of these competitive awards since CPRIT was created in 2007.
- Graduate Medical Education and Physician Education Loan Repayment Program: The TTU System’s health-related institutions are pioneers in providing care to some of the most underserved regions of Texas. The Texas Legislature increased funding for Graduate Medical Education by $25.53 million and the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program by $28.12 million, which will advance our mission of training and keeping physicians in West Texas. It also will help fulfill our goals in rural health and border initiatives.
The success of the 83rd session would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of so many who work to improve our universities. We are especially grateful to the leadership and members of the Texas Legislature for their dedication to higher education and the TTU System. Together, we will continue to meet the needs in higher education and better the State of Texas.