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HB 51 and HJR 14 Provide Texas Tech Opportunities for Research Growth

Kent Hance

Kent R. Hance

June 5, 2009 | Written by Michelle Hougland

Bills passed last weekend by the Texas Legislature will provide Texas Tech University access to long-term funding needed to achieve National Research University status, often referred to as Tier One.

Four separate programs defined in House Bill 51 (HB 51) provide the framework for the university to earn short and long-term state support needed to create and sustain world-class research programs. The funding also will enable the university to attract more of the nation’s top researchers. Those programs include the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP), the Performance Incentive Fund, the Research University Development Fund and the National Research University Fund (NRUF).

The creation of the National Research University Fund, incorporated in House Joint Resolution 14 and authored by State Sen. Robert Duncan, as an endowed permanent source of funding to enable the emerging research universities to achieve national prominence as major research universities is a focal point of the state’s commitment. HB 51 establishes the competitive criteria for which all of the emerging research universities will strive to meet in order to receive NRUF funding. A constitutional amendment will need the approval of Texas voters in November.

“Sen. Duncan had the vision and the plan to create a permanent funding mechanism for research at Texas Tech and the other emerging research universities,” said Chancellor Kent Hance. “If it were not for Sen. Duncan, HB 51 would not have passed. We all owe him our thanks for getting this done.” 

“I think this legislation provides a challenge and an opportunity for Texas Tech University to rise to the next level,” said Larry Anders, chairman of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents. “This long-term commitment to research growth will enable us to develop the world class research programs needed for Texas Tech University to achieve Tier One status. Now it’s up to us.”

HB 51 was sent to Governor Perry for signature on Wednesday.