LUBBOCK, Texas— Texans across the state are voting on Proposition 5 to establish the Texas University Fund (TUF). If passed, four major public universities will receive part of a $3.9 billion endowment for research.
Those four universities include Texas State University, Texas Tech University, University of Houston, and University of North Texas.
Texas Tech president, Lawrence Schovanec, said this opportunity will do so much for all schools involved.
“This [will] be a transformational opportunity for Texas Tech, but three other institutions will also benefit from that,” Schovanec said. “The money is dedicated to growing our research enterprise, and Texas Tech in Houston would get a larger share of those endowment proceeds based on the level of research productivity.”
Schovanec said this kind of money will benefit students and their overall experience as well as faculty, attracting more hires for the university, better start up equipment for them, and more. There are also plans to upgrade research facilities in the Library.
Texas voters will have the final say if Proposition 5 passes this November. Schovanec said this will be a big boom for the economy across the state, especially in Lubbock.
“We could cite statistics that show the economic impact of, say, Texas Tech, that’s more than $3 billion, and the South Plains, a lot of that is related to our research activity,” Schovanec said.
The Permanent University Fund, or PUF, will only available to the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M. The TUF will be limited to those four universities and will be separate from the PUF.
Schovanec said the plan will not come out of taxpayer money and no additional taxes will be added.
“I think always keep in mind there will be no new tax dollars to support the Texas University Fund, the pre $3 billion came from our surplus, they moved 900 million over from the National Research University Fund and the future investments in this fund will come from the rainy-day fund,” Schovanec said.
Texas Tech reached Carnegie tier one status in 2015, opening up many doors for funding. Schovanec said the impact has been positive since, and he feels the TUF will have the same
“This is not about chasing a designation, It’s about the immediate impact it would have on this school, this community, West Texas, and the state structure,” Schovanec said.