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Regents approve FY2017 operating budget for UT System

AUSTIN—With a size, scope and mission unlike any other university system in Texas, The University of Texas System supports the work, discovery and innovation of 14 institutions across the state, educating more than 221,000 students and providing health care to millions of patients.

Now home to six medical schools and responsible for $3 billion in research annually, UT System’s collective impact pushes far beyond the borders of Texas, influencing events and effecting change across the nation and around the world.

“One of the most critically important responsibilities of the Board of Regents is ensuring that our academic and health institutions have the resources they need to fulfill UT’s mission to Texas and the world,” said Regents Chairman Paul L. Foster. “We are committed to supporting world-class education and research and to providing the best health care possible for our patients, and those commitments are reflected in this year’s budget.”

Regents approved an operating budget of $17.9 billion, a 5.4 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, reflecting growing enrollment at UT institutions as well as expanded health care services provided to a growing number of patients. This year’s budget includes an additional $280 million for instruction and academic support activities and $381 million more for hospitals and clinics.

UT System’s revenue comes from a variety of sources, with tuition and fees making up one of the smallest sources – only 9.3 percent. State appropriations this year account for $2.3 billion, or 12.7 percent. Hospitals, clinics and professional fees bring in the largest share of revenue, representing $7.8 billion, or more than 42 percent of the total funding sources. UT System-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics have nearly 7 million outpatient visits and approximately 1.4 million in-patient hospital stays annually. 

UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven presented the budget to the Board of Regents, highlighting changes on the horizon for UT System Administration. The number of employees at System Administration has increased over the past few years as employees were shifted from academic campuses to UT System’s payroll to free up revenue for campuses, while offsetting proposed tuition increases. Still, McRaven said he is concerned about the FTE count and plans to trim 130 positions for a net reduction of at least 10 percent by the end of fiscal year 2017. Eighty-one UT System Administration employees have signed notices of intent for a voluntary separation incentive program. McRaven has also implemented a soft hiring freeze and will explore outsourcing opportunities and a possible reduction in force.

“We are one of the nation’s largest systems of higher education — only behind California in terms of annual research expenditures — and unlike any system in Texas in terms of scale and impact,” McRaven said. “As we educate more students, train more doctors, treat more patients and pioneer more world-changing breakthroughs, we need a System Administration that can support and drive that important work. However, we also understand that we are stewards of the resources of the state of Texas and are committed to smart efficiency and ensuring that we are investing every dollar possible into programs that directly benefit our students and all of Texas.” 

Along with the operating budget, Regents approved $30 million 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 exceptional 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 221,000, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates almost 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 has an annual operating budget of $17.9 billion (FY 2017) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates – 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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