Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

UT Regents approve millions in allocations for Austin medical school

Austin is one of the largest U.S. cities without a medical school, but that may soon change after a historical vote by the UT System Board of Regents.

The Regents approved a proposal to allocate $30 million a year in funding toward operating costs of a medical school in Austin under the direction of the University during their meeting Thursday morning. UT System officials said $25 million in funding would be allocated through the state’s Available University Fund. The board will also provide an additional $5 million a year for eight years to cover laboratory equipment.

President William Powers Jr. said no funding would be taken from the tuition of undergraduates or graduate students not affiliated with the University’s medical programs.

“UT proudly proclaims, ‘What Starts Here Changes the World,’” said UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa. “The establishment of a medical school would add another dimension to that. The recommendation is bold and visionary, but it’s also transformative.”

A projected timeline for the establishment of a UT medical school was not released upon approval of the proposal, but Powers said the University would work with the Regents to establish the school within the next few years by beginning discussions about a possible location and recruitment of faculty and administration after resources are identified for additional funding.

The pledge to finance operating costs of the medical school is contingent upon $35 million in annual funding that must be raised locally through other financial resources that have yet to be determined.

The board’s decision comes on the heels of Seton’s announcement of a preliminary commitment to underwrite $250 million toward replacing University Medical Center Brackenridge with a new teaching hospital less than two weeks ago.

The board also voted in support of the establishment of a medical school in South Texas. The regents pledged to pursue funding from the state Legislature to accompany the millions of dollars a year the community must collect to fund a medical school in the area.

Texas Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, led the initiative to establish a medical school and a modern teaching hospital in Austin through his “10 Goals in 10 Years” vision. A University-affiliated medical school and a modern teaching hospital topped his list.

“The [Regents’] vote committed tens of millions of dollars to a University of Texas medical school, and in addition it affirmed that it is a partner in this collaborative effort to come up with different ways to fund a medical school,” Watson said. “The new model for how you go about building and paying for a medical school is actually working,”

In an interview with The Daily Texan, Powers said the University was also committed to respecting the resources allocated to school programs not related to the health fields when considering funding for a medical school.

“We have been working for the last six-and-a-half years on this goal, and we responded to student concerns for the need of a UT medical school,” he said. “By establishing a separate set of funding, we will be able to take on the paramount issue of protecting the already scarce funding for other student programs.”

Published on Friday, May 4, 2012 as: Allocated funding to fuel future UT Medical School

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UT Regents approve millions in allocations for Austin medical school