University and research funding are among numerous priorities and initiatives officials will discuss with legislators.
Each odd-numbered year, Texas Tech University leadership travels to Austin for a 140-day legislative session to advocate for the university's priorities and initiatives and work with state leadership as they make key decisions for the state's next biennium affecting many areas, including Texas public higher education.
Texas Tech has made tremendous progress over the last few years in enhancing the university's profile and reach across the U.S., and it continues to be innovative and forward-thinking with planned future initiatives. This is what Texas Tech officials will discuss with legislators from all reaches of the state during Texas Tech University System Day on March 5.
Here's what you need to know about Texas Tech's priorities in the 86th Texas Legislature:
Enhance and restore formula funding
Formula funding provides general revenue for instruction and operation (I&O) and infrastructure. Since drastic cuts to the formula rates in 2003 and 2011, the rates have not been fully restored, nor have they kept up with inflation.
- Enhancing and restoring formula funding supports growth and continued excellence at Texas Tech.
Continue and enhance research funding
Texas historically has made significant investments in research support to empower universities to explore innovative solutions and new ideas. Programs like the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP), the National Research University Fund and the Core Research Fund are essential for elevating the prominence of public higher education in Texas.
- Continued funding of these programs is vital for continued enhancement of Texas Tech's visibility as a National Research University. The university recently was reaffirmed with a Carnegie "Very High Research Activity" designation, placing Texas Tech among 120 of the top research institutions (86 of which are public) nationwide.
- RIP provides matching funds to assist eligible public institutions in leveraging private gifts for the enhancement of research productivity and faculty recruitment. Since its inception in 2010, Texas Tech has received nearly $114 million, or 34.9 percent of the overall distribution, in TRIP funding. This total leads all eligible institutions during that span.
Nonformula requests are for funds allocated outside the formula funding to provide start-up funds for other strategic initiatives, which leverage millions of dollars of additional non-state funding to support academic programs, research and public service.
- School of Veterinary Medicine
- Texas Tech is working to establish Texas' first veterinary school in more than 100 years in response to the critical veterinary medicine needs and educational demand throughout our state and nation. Texas Tech is asking for $17.35 million from the Texas Legislature, which will match more than $90 million that's been raised.
- Academic and Student Success Funds
- With goals of a 90 percent, 1-year retention rate and a 70 percent, 6-year graduation rate, Texas Tech is requesting funds that will provide instruction and resources to help ensure each student completes their degree by reducing drop, fail and withdrawal rates – particularly among first generation students and underrepresented student populations.
- Other Programs
- This includes support for Texas Tech's museum programs, preservation of the second largest collection of Vietnam War materials in the world, and support for the university's research expertise in agriculture, energy and emerging technologies.