COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M University is poised to have a winning legislative session, according to preliminary estimates of actions taken Friday by Texas House and Senate conferees who are negotiating the final touches on the FY 2020-21 state budget.
The conferees approved approximately $91.5 million in new money for Texas A&M University for the next two-year budget cycle, as compared to about $20 million in new money in the 2017 legislative session. The conferees’ final report must be approved with floor votes by the House of Representatives and the Senate before going to Governor Greg Abbott for his consideration. The session ends May 27.
“This is the best financial session that Texas A&M has ever had,” said Chancellor John Sharp.
The additional money can be attributed to Texas A&M’s growth ($24.5 million increase in the funding formula), an estimated $12 million more in a special research fund, plus $55 million to help correct a disparity in funding between the state’s two flagship schools, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.
State lawmakers typically fund higher education institutions on a per student basis, rewarding universities as a school grows. In 2017, however, the Legislature awarded UT-Austin additional money over and above what they gave Texas A&M, even though the Austin flagship had capped its enrollment at slightly over 50,000 students. Texas A&M has continued to serve more students with about 64,000 on the College Station campus and about 69,000 when satellite campuses in Galveston, Qatar and McAllen are included.
Correcting that unequal funding was the top legislative priority for Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M System.
Texas A&M President Michael K. Young thanked state lawmakers, adding, “This is a game changer.
“These much-needed funds will allow us to fulfill vital programs such as the Student Services Initiative and Faculty Reinvestment Program. I believe this is an acknowledgement of the hard work that faculty, staff and students at Texas A&M are undertaking. They deserve the credit for securing these funds, which will be put to great use.”
The Student Services Initiative helps students to graduate faster, and the Faculty Reinvestment Program allows for the hiring of more professors.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.7 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 153,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $996 million in FY 2017 and helped drive the state’s economy.
Contact: Laylan Copelin
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