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Why We Need Your Support

 

If The University of Texas at Austin is a public institution, why does it seek private support?

The state share of the university’s budget is shrinking even as UT Austin pursues its most ambitious goal yet — to be the best public research university in the nation.

For example, in 1984-85 the state of Texas contributed 47 percent of the university’s budget. Today that share is only 13 percent.

Another part of the university’s funding structure is the often-misunderstood Permanent University Fund, or PUF. If you’ve heard that the University is “rich” from oil money, you’ve heard about the PUF. But — no matter how romantic the notion of UT as oil baron and wealthy institution may be — the facts tell a different story.

Bevo Budget September 2013

Texas does use some oil revenue to help fund higher education, just as other states draw upon their industries to support public services. The PUF isn’t “extra” money — it’s part of the state’s higher-education funding structure.

PUF assets include more than 2 million acres of oil- and mineral-producing land in West Texas. However, the revenue from these acres does not go exclusively to UT Austin but to 17 institutions in the Texas A&M and University of Texas Systems.

Meanwhile, the university continues to offer tuition and fees that are lower than many of its peers. FY 2012-13 undergraduate resident tuition and fees at UT Austin ranked second-lowest out of a 12-institution national comparison group. Tuition and fees account for about one-fourth (24 percent) of the university’s 2013-14 budget.

The majority of funding for UT Austin comes from sources other than the state of Texas. State funding alone is not what makes The University of Texas a university of the first class. But thanks to private support, UT drives economic, social, and cultural progress as one of the world’s most powerful centers of learning, research, and creativity.