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Chancellor Duncan Returns to Austin for Meetings on Higher Ed

Robert L. DuncanChancellor Robert Duncan

March 23, 2018 | Written by: Dana Jennings

After providing testimony before the Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education Formula Funding twice during February, Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan returned to the Texas State Capitol on March 21 for further discussions on the state’s method of funding higher education.

In the morning, Duncan attended a Higher Ed Funding Workgroup meeting with State Sen. Kelly Hancock, who serves as one of the co-chairs of the joint legislative committee. Topics of discussion included: outlining what the state’s priorities should be when considering an outcomes-based funding model; categorizing Texas institutions of higher education based on mission, population and location; a suggested timeline for implementation of a new funding system by the legislature; and categorizing non-formula support items.

Following the morning’s workgroup meeting, Duncan was invited to provide testimony for a hearing held by the Senate Higher Education Committee. The hearing was called to take up the committee’s interim charge to consider what role the state should have in overseeing the approval and development of new higher education locations in geographical areas already served by existing institutions.

During the legislative interim, the Senate Higher Education Committee’s purpose is to develop a long-term statewide strategy for authorizing new locations and programs which includes a plan to secure adequate support for expansion, while exploring where there are underserved areas of the state and what type of programs would best serve the population to fill regional workforce needs.

“Expansions of the Texas Tech University System have been driven by serving underserved areas of the state and workforce needs since the founding of our flagship university 95 years ago,” Duncan said. “We operate on the belief that the best check and balance for an expansion of any kind is if a community is willing to invest.”

The TTU System is following the same approach with two current expansion opportunities: the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and a Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo. Both initiatives are developed in response to critical workforce shortages.

About the Texas Tech University System 

Established in 1996, the Texas Tech University System is one of the top public university systems in the state of Texas and nation, consisting of four universities—Texas Tech UniversityTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterAngelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.        

Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the TTU System is a $2 billion enterprise focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach with approximately 20,000 employees, nearly 53,000 students, more than 330,000 alumni and an endowment over $1.2 billion.

In its short history, the TTU System has grown tremendously and is nationally acclaimed, operating on 17 campuses statewide and internationally. Under the dynamic leadership of Chancellor Robert Duncan, the TTU System has set forth a bold vision of excellence, collaboration and innovation and continues to prove that from here, it’s possible.