January 20, 2011
Here are some numbers that every chancellor of a university system in Texas knows by heart: Out of $1,250,250,767 that Texas cut out of its current, 2010-11 biennial budget, $518,424,781 was drained from higher education. That’s 41.47 percent of the 5 percent total reduction among all state agencies demanded by the state's leadership. Higher ed’s overall share of the state’s budget, meanwhile, is 12.5 percent.
Of the state’s six chancellors, four — Mike McKinney of the Texas A&M University System, Lee Jackson of the University of North Texas System, Kent Hance of the Texas Tech University System and Brian McCall of Texas State University System — served in the Texas Legislature. McKinney was also Gov. Rick Perry’s chief of staff. They all agree that the 82nd legislative session — with the state facing a budget shortfall of between $15 billion to $27 billion — will be the toughest they’ve seen.