In 1876, the State of Texas established the
Permanent University Fund to support higher
education at The University of Texas and Texas
A&M Systems through the appropriation of land
grants. What was once little more than 2.1 million
acres of tumbleweeds in West Texas has produced
an endowment of more than $12 billion in oil and
natural gas revenues as well as other investments.
While funds are used to construct buildings,
enhance libraries and attract star faculty, UT
Brownsville and UT Pan American had not been
eligible to receive this funding.
Last year, in the midst of the dissolution of the
partnership between UTB and Texas Southmost
College, the Chancellor and his experts at the UT
System conceived a bold plan that would correct
this long standing inequity: abolish UT Brownsville
and Pan American and consolidate their assets
to establish a new university, one that would also
include a medical school for the Rio Grande Valley.
With the full support of the Board of Regents,
the Governor and the Texas Legislature, the new
university, which will be distributed across the
region, was created.
This singular event, eligibility for the Permanent
University Fund, will transform higher education
in the Rio Grande Valley.
Now that the door to PUF dollars has been flung
open, we will quickly see the new university catapult
to a completely new status: that of an emerging
research university that will become the second
largest Hispanic Serving Institute in the nation.
I invite you to continue to join in this new adventure
as we begin to imprint the destiny of the new
university. The UT System has created a Project
South Texas website that includes news, guiding
principles and timelines for establishing the new
university as well as an invitation to submit your
comments and suggestions for the new university.
You are encouraged to join the conversation online
and in person at the town hall meetings the UT
System will conduct in the Rio Grande Valley over
the next few months.
The destiny of our children and of our country
resides not in the past, but in the future; and
the shape of the future is in our hands. The new
university marks the beginning of a new future for
South Texas; a future inspired by the hopes and
dreams we share for our children.
Juliet V. García