UT employs efficiently, needs to work on graduation rates

Liz Farmer

UT ranks second among public research universities for the number of faculty it employs for every public dollar it receives, according to a study conducted within the University and released Thursday.

President William Powers Jr. wrote in an email that the University is looking for ways to further efficiency, specifically in terms of four-year graduation rates. A task force Powers assembled in July will review the results of the study to create new ways to save money. Under a framework authored by UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, each UT System institution is looking to make similar money-saving adjustments. At UT-Austin, state funds were reduced by $92 million in the last legislative session.

“We must identify and remove the obstacles to timely graduation at UT Austin,” Powers wrote.

Task force goals include increasing graduation rates and decreasing the time students take to graduate.

In terms of six-year graduation rates the University ranks 13th out of the 120 national public research universities, according to the study. The six-year graduation rate is 81 percent, compared to the four-year graduation rate of 51 percent.

The study’s author, sociology professor and associate dean Marc Musick, said he hopes students will review the study and be inspired to help make improvements in University efficiency.

“They should recognize that they have a responsibility to Texas students, that as many as possible deserve to have access to this education,” Musick said.

However, Musick said there are responsibilities and opportunities that may keep a student from graduating in four years. He said he recognizes these situations because of his time as a sociology student at UT.

“There are also benefits — I stayed an extra semester because I wanted to do research,” Musick said.