Are Corporate Funded Research Grants and Federal Regulations the Answers to Texas Public Universities’ Financial Woes?

On the heels of TACT’s First Alert last week, the rising cost of Texas tuitions are the topic for discussion at the Capital. The Austin American Statesman reported (click here for full article) on a meeting between UT President Greg Fenves, House Speaker Joe Strauss and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to discuss a national study which suggests the road to financial redemption for public universities is paved with corporate dollars and federal rule changing.

Big supporters of the recommendations, Fenves and Hutchison assert pandering to private businesses for research funds will alleviate much of the funding shortages on the Texas systems. Those against such proposals fear what corporate influence will do a state university’s freedom. Critics of these solutions still feel not enough attention is being brought to instances of inflated salaries and bonuses for collegiate administrators, and certain faculty. Why must payers of tuition drain their savings or begin their careers with mountains of debt?

The 2017 legislative session in Texas will most certainly be addressing the lack of funds being felt by state universities, as well as rising tuitions. Keep in mind, the Legislature will also be structuring the Texas budget with less revenue being provided from the oil and gas industry.

** Next month, the TACT Quarterly eBulletin will feature an article balancing these issues in greater depth.