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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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UT System Regents Approve $5 Million to Recruit Health Research Scholars

AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Board of Regents today (Dec. 9) authorized $5 million to establish a matching fund program to help recruit the country’s top faculty researchers to UT System health institutions.

Known as the Regents’ Health Research Scholars Program, the effort would make available up to $500,000 for each tenure-track health faculty recruit at health institutions. To be eligible for the matching fund, health institutions first would be required to raise up to $250,000 in philanthropic support for each faculty recruit. The executive vice chancellor for health affairs would then review each request and, if approved, would authorize up to an additional $250,000, which could be used for equipment and facilities associated with the recruiting effort.

Philanthropic funds would be used for operational support for these gifted faculty members, including graduate student stipends or supplies.

“Among the most important tasks we have is to maintain excellence – and that means recruiting and retaining the brightest scholars for our institutions,” Regents’ Vice Chairman Colleen McHugh said. “This program will give our health institutions an extraordinary tool to help achieve that goal.”

Funds for the program will come from bond proceeds from the Permanent University Fund (PUF).

“This represents another proactive endeavor to add outstanding scholars to our faculty ranks and demonstrates the UT System’s commitment to bringing the best and brightest to our institutions across the great state of Texas,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D.

The Regents’ Health Research Scholars Program augments systemwide efforts aimed at recruiting and/or retaining outstanding faculty at UT System institutions. The Faculty Science and Technology Recruitment and Retention (STARs) Program, launched in 2004, has set aside more than $100 million toward faculty recruitment and retention.  However, funds in that program may only be used for equipment and facility renovations.

“We believe this effort will pay great dividends in terms of adding creativity and productivity to our faculty ranks, further enhancing the UT System’s impact on the national health care landscape,” said UT System Executive Vice Chancellor Kenneth I. Shine, M.D.

About The University of Texas System

Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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