Monday Nov 23, 2015
News that UT Austin purchased 332 acres in South Houston for a Research Center has the University of Houston Regents on boil. UT Austin already had a big presence in the Houston Medical Center with it Med School. Understand that UT Austin acquired system campuses like UTSA to defend the fact that only UT and A & M are recipients of the Permanent Fund money. Created in the 1880s, this is now the second largest endowment in the USA after Harvard which after all started in 1636.
Universities in the larger towns of Houston, UH, Dallas, UNT, and even Lubbock, Tech, began complaining in the 1960s that they served larger populations than UT in Austin, then fraction of what it is today< and College Station. UT Regent Frank Erwin hatched a plan to locate at least one UT school in at least a dozen state senator districts. This resulted in UT El Paso, UTSA, UT Arlington, and so forth. A & M joined in later acquiring or starting smaller schools like Tarleton and TAMUSA.
I was in Houston just a few weeks ago and frankly was stunned at their modest new football stadium. Such is life at the large second tier schools in the state. But as U of H attempts Tier One status this is surely a poke in the eye by UT Austin. It is hard for me to see the necessity of such move but oh well.