Committees approve consolidation of UT System schools in South Texas

Joshua Fechter

Texas lawmakers will consider consolidating UT System institutions in South Texas after two legislative committees unanimously approved it Wednesday.

The bills, approved separately by the House and Senate Higher Education Committees on Wednesday, would combine UT-Brownsville, UT-Pan American and the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen into one institution and allow that institution to access the Permanent University Fund, a $1.3 billion state endowment for institutions in the UT and Texas A&M systems. The Regional Academic Health Center would become a medical school under the proposal. 

“We’re very pleased with the support legislators have shown toward this transformational plan for South Texas,” UT System spokesperson Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said.

The UT System is currently committing $100 million over 10 years for the prospective medical school and will seek $10 million in annual state funds for the consolidation.