AUSTIN – At a special called meeting today, The University of Texas System Board of Regents endorsed proposed construction projects at all 15 UT institutions for tuition revenue bond eligibility if approved by the Texas Legislature.
The projects were approved with the stipulation that authorizes Regents Chairman Gene Powell and UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa to prioritize the projects if it becomes necessary. The projects total $1.1 billion.
Tuition Revenue Bonds, or TRBs, are issued under the UT System’s Revenue Financing System (RFS) and are secured by a system-wide pledge of all legally available revenue for debt issued on behalf of UT System institutions. However, the expectation is that the state will reimburse TRB debt service from general revenue. In order for that to happen, the Texas Legislature must approve the TRBs by passing a bill introduced in the Legislature.
Having each UT institution bring TRB requests before the Board of Regents is a new process and signals a very strategic and conservative approach in asking for the Legislature’s assistance in paying for much-needed capital projects on campuses.
Each institution was allowed to bring one project for consideration to the Board of Regents. An exception was made for The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, which is asking for $8 million for a laboratory for research on aging for the San Antonio campus and $6 million for the Diabetes Institute of South Texas, located at the Laredo Regional Campus.
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking 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 nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2012 enrollment of roughly 216,000. 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. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.9 billion (FY 2013) including $3.1 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.