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Stephen F. Austin Board Wants to Join U of Texas System

November 30, 2022

One of Texas’ two independent universities is ready to join the University of Texas system—a move that officials say will bring in more money and shared services, The Texas Tribune reported.

The Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents fielded offers from four systems in Texas and settled on the University of Texas after a review process that involved faculty, staff, alumni and students. University leaders said at the start of the academic year that they would explore whether to join a system.

The board picked the University of Texas in large part because of the system’s access to money from the state’s Permanent University Fund. The Texas Constitution set aside 2.1 million acres of land to support the University of Texas and Texas A&M systems. The land has since been leased to oil and gas companies, and the revenues from those wells go back into the fund. The University of Texas gets two-thirds of that fund, per the state Constitution.

“Any other regional comprehensive university in the state would give its proverbial right arm to be in the position we're in today,” Regent David Alders said at the meeting of having access to the fund. “Here, this slice of that pie is being presented to us on a silver platter. I believe it would represent a dramatic dereliction of our duty to not accept this invitation.

Stephen F. Austin would become the University of Texas’ eighth institution if the state lawmakers approve the move next year.

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Katherine Knott

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