Perry and Burrows propose to kill UT and A&M monopoly on Texas PUF | KLBK | KAMC
LUBBOCK, Texas — Two Lubbock lawmakers on Friday introduced a state-proposed constitutional amendment to divert some money from the PUF, the Permanent University Fund, away from the University of Texas and Texas A&M. The move, if approved, would allow Texas Tech and other schools to share a portion of the PUF.
Sen. Charles Perry said it was time to reassess the fund to incorporate more Texas state universities.
“A lot of great things have happened for Texas, and I think we can all benefit from that. It shouldn’t be limited to just two universities,” Perry said.
In 1876, the Texas Constitution set aside 2.1 million acres of land in West Texas to support Texas A&M and the University of Texas. The fund was established long before other Texas state universities were established.
Most properties are leased to oil and gas companies. The net worth of the fund is estimated at over $24 billion.
Senator Perry said it’s time for lawmakers to discuss redistributing funds to include other state universities.
“It behooves us as legislators to recognize the gifts and blessings this state has to offer,”
Perry said, “and make sure everyone can share this responsibly. I am not advocating rejecting two systems. a third of this fund is a lot.
Representative Dustin Burrows said he would like to see the wealth distributed more evenly among other higher education institutions like Texas Tech. Even a small portion of the fund could make a difference.
“I would love to get research funding for Tech and integrate us into the AAU, which is a prestigious organization. I think Tech deserves it,” Burrows said.
The following is a press release from State Senator Charles Perry and Rep. Dustin Burrows, both of Lubbock.
Constitutional amendment to modify the Texas PUF (Permanent University Fund) introduced by Senator Charles Perry and Rep. Dustin Burrows
These proposals give taxpayer-funded universities access to the $24 billion Permanent University Fund (PUF) that is currently reserved only for the University of Texas and Texas A&M University.
AUSTIN, TX – Today, Texas State Senator Charles Perry (SD-28) and Texas State House Representative Dustin Burrows (HD-83) filed SJR 14 and HJR 24 respectively .
These identical pieces of legislation reallocate 1/3 of the Permanent University Fund (PUF) to emerging research universities and other institutions of higher learning in Texas. PUF is made up of 2.1 million public acres in West Texas that have generated large amounts of wealth for the University of Texas and for Texas A&M. In June 2021, the net asset value of the PUF was pegged at over $24 billion.
Senator Perry said, “Today President Burrows and I tabled constitutional amendments to reform the university’s Permanent Fund. In existence for more than 130 years, the PUF Fund has distributed billions to two universities. Texas has nearly 30 million residents and dozens of public institutions of higher learning. PUF has successfully fulfilled its original mission of establishing high quality education with global impact – mission accomplished. It’s time for all students to benefit from a truly Texas resource.
This money could reduce high tuition and lower property taxes, fund research, and provide funding for growing community colleges. It’s time to make a positive impact on post-secondary education for all students.
“It is high time to equitably fund all state institutions of higher education that emerged after 1883; the state of Texas certainly has the wealth and the resources to do that,” Rep. Burrows said.
“PUF gets resources over a Texas broadband, but Texas Tech University, University of Houston, Texas State University, University of North Texas, among others, get nothing. PUF’s current structure is unfair to these schools and, just as importantly, unfair to the Texas taxpayers who support them.