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Regents appoint new members to University Lands Advisory Board

Board provides effective stewardship of land to advance UT and A&M institutions

AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Board of Regents Wednesday appointed two new members with extensive experience in business and the oil and gas industry to serve on the University Lands Advisory Board. 


D. Kirk Edwards of Odessa, president of Latigo Petroleum, was appointed to a three-year term, and Regents Vice Chairman Paul L. Foster was appointed to succeed former Regent Alex Cranberg, who has served on the Advisory Board as chairman since its inception in 2014.


Regents also reappointed Frank D. Tsuru of Houston, who has served as CEO and president of several energy companies, and Thomas L. Carter, chairman and CEO of Houston-based Black Stone Minerals.


Regents Vice Chairman Jeffery D. Hildebrand, founder and executive chairman of Hilcorp Energy Company, was appointed chairman of the Advisory Board.


The University Lands Advisory Board was created by the UT System Board of Regents in 2014 to provide strategic direction to University Lands and serve in an advisory capacity to regents on land operations and management. University Lands oversees activities on 2.1 million acres of land that stretch across 19 far-West Texas counties in the oil-rich Permian Basin and serve as a valuable resource for the UT and Texas A&M system institutions.


Revenue from oil and gas production on University Lands flows into the Permanent University Fund, which supports capital projects at the institutions of the UT and Texas A&M systems, per the Texas Constitution. Revenue from surface leases and activity generates income for the Available University Fund (AUF). In addition, a small percentage of the PUF is distributed annually to support UT Austin, Texas A&M College Station, Prairie View A&M and system operations.


In May 2018, the PUF was valued at $21.8 billion. This year, distributions from the AUF to eligible institutions were $888 million, an increase of $49 million over fiscal year 2017.


“The University Lands are a precious and unique resource in our state that position UT and A&M institutions to be among the nation’s preeminent public universities,” Chairman Hildebrand said. “I’m honored to work with a board dedicated to ensuring accountability to the taxpayers of Texas by being effective and responsible stewards of both the land and its management.”


The University Lands Advisory Board is composed of nine members, including the Texas Land Commissioner, five members selected by the UT System Board of Regents (including two regents) and three members selected by the A&M System Board of Regents (including one regent).


In addition to the members appointed and reappointed Wednesday and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the University Lands Advisory Board also includes Stephen A. Holditch, Texas A&M University professor emeritus of petroleum engineering; Mark Albers, a retired ExxonMobil executive; and A&M Regent Elaine Mendoza.

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 a projected enrollment of more than 234,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately 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’s operating budget for FY 2018 is $18.3 billion, funded in part by $3.6 billion in sponsored programs from federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – 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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