Student Government members voted to pass a resolution that calls for transparency, student involvement and preservation of research in the Board of Regent’s actions as they decide on budget cuts.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, is recommending the board separate research and teaching funds. The SG resolution would allow SG President Natalie Butler to oppose the board’s actions if the regents take up the policy.
“This issue has been dominating my presidency so far,” Butler said. “It translates to the value of our degrees.”
Butler said separating research funding from teaching threatens our status as a top research institution. She said getting the student body behind the resolution will magnify her efforts.
The resolution also calls for the board to make policy decisions based on more than the foundation’s recommendations, which student leaders claim threaten the core values of the University.
“No one is saying that higher education needs no reform,” said former University-wide representative Matt Portillo. “But we can’t fix the problem with reforms that gut UT from its core.”
LBJ representative and grad student Phillip Nevels said the separation could prevent good researchers who are bad teachers from serving as professors.
Although members listened to Nevels’ concerns, SG passed the resolution in a nearly unanimous vote.