LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Governor Greg Abbott visited Lubbock on Saturday as part of his “Celebration of Texas” tour. During the event, he made a big promise to Texas Tech University. He pledged his support for a $1 billion increase to the current Texas Tech endowment.

Use the video player above to watch a replay of our live coverage. The governor began his event shortly after noon at Cagle Steaks & BBQ, 8732 4th Street.

“We have a vision for the future of higher education in our state, and we want to make sure that all of our universities are the best universities,” Abbott said.

Abbott said when he was first elected governor, he promised to double the number of Tier One universities in Texas. Tier One is considered top-level status in the world, and it is determined by a small number of elite academic organizations. TTU has been affirmed as Tier One since 2015, according to the university’s website.

“We were behind states like California,” Abbott said. “As of today, Texas has far more than doubled the number of Tier One research universities. And as we gather here in Lubbock, Texas, today, the State of Texas now has more Tier One research universities than any other state.”

“I want the State of Texas to create an endowment for Texas Tech University of $1 billion to elevate the university even more,” Abbott told the crowd.

“… The combined asset value of the Texas Tech University System endowment has grown to more than $1.69 billion thanks to the generosity of our donors …” the university said in a 2021 endowment report.

The report described an endowment by institution as follows:

  • 60% Texas Tech University
  • 16% Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • 14% Angelo State University
  • 10% Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso
  • <1% Texas Tech University System

“We want the university to rank academically as high in the polls as your basketball team,” Abbot said. “That is my goal.” The Red Raiders were ranked No. 14 as of Saturday in the AP Top 25 Poll.

When asked if Texas Tech could get PUF or Permanent University Fund Money, Abbott said probably not.

“I would say the chance of that happening is about zero. However, the chances of being able to increase the endowment for Texas Tech is extremely high,” Abbott said during a one-on-one interview with KAMC reporter Ryan Chandler.

PUF has long been a sore spot for West Texans. The money is generated in West Texas and benefits both the University of Texas and Texas A&M but not Texas Tech.

In the video clip below (2:55 long), Abbott describes his proposed support for Texas Tech in the next legislative session.

“[Endowment money] just requires a majority of votes,” Abbott said. “Whereas to alter the way the PUF fund works would require a constitutional amendment. So, my plan is far [more] likely to pass.”

“Representative [Dustin] Burrows [of Lubbock] and I worked on this last session,” Abbott said. “We expect to get it passed next session.”

Borrows was also on hand and provided the introduction for Abbott at Cagle Steaks.