Budget Cuts Slicing Away At UT’s Goal To Be Top Public University

The cuts facing The University of Texas could slice it to the bone, says President Bill Powers, endangering its national research stature and individual student experience.

UT already had been asked to cut 5 percent of its biennial budget appropriation from the Legislature, or $29.2 million. In May, Gov. Rick Perry asked the University to propose ways to chop another 10 percent, bringing the two-year total budget reduction to $86.7 million. 

Powers used the UT System Board of Regents meeting last week to warn those entrusted with the University’s well-being that all is far from well.

“We are already behind our competitors by very large amounts,” he said. To underscore that, he pointed to California, which is facing a budget emergency but is still better funding higher education, an economic engine for any state. UCLA, he said, devotes at least $6,000 more to educating each student than UT does. 

“This will have an impact on the quality of educational offerings,” Powers said. “It will affect time to graduation.”

And there were still more worrisome words: “We will not be able to be a major research university in anything like the same way.”

All in all, it makes the heart sink. But the Texas Exes hope to better the prognosis.

By law, UT and other state entities cannot advocate for their needs. As a separate nonprofit organization, the Texas Exes can.

As another state legislative session nears, the UT Advocates for Higher Education, led by public policy director Leticia Acosta, will be trained to make persuasive phone calls and write effective letters to lawmakers.

On Feb. 15, they’ll participate in Orange and Maroon Legislative Day, which will mark the fifth time UT and A&M representatives have come together to advocate for their schools.

Get involved here. Like helping a sick friend, it’s the best way we can ease the pain of the University we love. 


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