Tuesday, May 9, 2017

UT Bureaucracy tells Board of Regents System finances growing stronger

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
James 1:22

We spent a couple hours at the UT Board of Regents meeting this morning.  We heard on update on various commercialization efforts and the meeting of the Board's finance committee.  They painted a rosy picture.

The most promising commercialization efforts are apparently coming out of the MD Anderson Cancer center.  We didn't follow all the details, but were all for any progress that can be made in the fight against cancer.  While the presentation made sense on the merits, we found something about Regent Hildebrand's over the top cheer-leading for it unsettling.

During the finance committee meeting, we learned several interesting nuggets:

  • Revenues up across the board (with a few small exceptions).
  • The system owns mineral rights on 2 million acres of land in West Texas; we knew it was a lot, but we'd never heard the full number before.
  • They're going to be issuing a new round of leases on 225,000 of those acres this September.
  • The fracking revolution continues: Due to technological advances, money continuing to flow into system coffers despite low(ish) oil prices.
  • UTIMCO up $2 BILLION since January: "The pot continues to grow."
  • Fund exposed to inevitable market correction.
Which leads us to two additional conclusions:
  1. No matter what the legislature does with state funding, the UT system is going to come out ahead of where they were a year ago.
  2. There's NO justification for a tuition hike this fall.
Bottom Line: We will see....

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