• Chancellor William McRaven revealed to lawmakers Wednesday the total cost of the UT System’s planned expansion into Houston: $15 million a year for the next 30 years.

    The System purchased the first portion of the land Friday as part of a larger plan to purchase a total of 300 acres in Houston to build a campus there. The expansion has come under criticism from lawmakers because of concerns about inhibiting the growth efforts of existing Houston-based institutions such as Rice University, the University of Houston and Texas Southern University.

    When speaking with lawmakers, McRaven emphasized the benefits to the state of expanding into Houston and said the System was years away from breaking ground on a new campus in Houston.

    “Our goal is to build something that will bring the best talent to the city for collaboration and innovation,” McRaven said, according to the Texas Tribune. “We want to astound people with our boldness. And we are beginning with a blank canvas... We are only limited by our drive, our imagination and our courage to challenge conventional wisdom.”

    McRaven is expected to address the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board tomorrow on the possible Houston expansion.