Another measure of our efficiency is to compare combined inputs from general revenue, tuition and the Available University Fund with our outputs, even just focusing on the production of degrees. Under this measure of efficiency, The University of Texas at Austin ranks No. 1 among 120 leading public research universities in the nation.

—William Powers Jr.

Budget Facts

Question

Since deregulation, tuition increases have skyrocketed. Why doesn't the university have plenty of funding?

Answer

Increases in tuition and fees have actually been lower since deregulation in 2003.
Average annual increases in tuition and fees:

Tuition and fees cover about 25 percent of the university’s overall budget.

Question

The university is constructing so many new buildings. Why is this necessary? These funds should be used for salaries or other programs.

Answer

Yes, some of the money used to construct buildings could have been used for salaries or other programs, but the university is at space capacity. It is the university's goal to reduce the student-faculty ratio. To do this it is necessary to provide classroom, laboratory and office space for new faculty members. Many of the new buildings are funded through foundation grants, charitable giving and state-appropriated bonds. Those funds cannot be used for anything other than the restricted purpose.

Many of our buildings are in serious disrepair and significant resources are needed to bring them into compliance. A substantial portion of the university physical plant is 30-60 years old and will soon require repair and renovation.

Question

The university is in the middle of a $3 billion fundraising campaign. Why can't some of that money be used for salaries or used to slow tuition increases?

Answer

While the university is working to raise money from donors, that money is generally for designated purposes, such as scholarships. For example, a scholarship endowment in English cannot be used to purchase supplies for a chemistry laboratory.

Question

The Permanent University Fund is more than $10 billion and is one of the largest endowments in the country. Why does UT need more money?

Answer

The money available from the Permanent University Fund comes from income from investments of the fund. The University of Texas at Austin is only one of many institutions sharing in those proceeds and received only about $158 million recurring in 2010-11, or about 7 percent of the annual budget.

Question

Wouldn't there be money for faculty and staff raises if the administrative costs at UT, including the salaries for senior management, weren't so high?

Answer

Administrative costs at the university are a small part of the total operating budget. They amounted to 5.1 percent of our total budget in 2008, while the average for the public universities in Texas was 10.5 percent.

Question

The Athletics Department makes a huge amount of money through football tickets and merchandising. Why can't this money be used for academics?

Answer

Like Housing and Food Service, Athletics is a self-supporting unit at the university. Intercollegiate Athletics pays all its expenses at UT, including $8.5 million in scholarships, $2.3 million in central administrative services, $16.5 million in debt service and an average of about $3 million each year in capital expenditures. Athletics contributes millions of dollars each year to academic programs and initiatives.

UT is one of only a handful of schools in the nation where Athletics is self-sufficient and not dependent on financial resources from the university. Not too many years ago UT was required to subsidize Athletics, and we need to strive to keep Athletics self-sustaining.

Question

What about the money the university will make from the ESPN channel deal? Where will those dollars go?

Answer

The university announced in January 2011 a 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN to create a 24-hour network that will broadcast Longhorn sports and some non-athletic programming. The university will receive about $10 million annually for the first five years of the contract. Half of those funds will support academic initiatives. President Powers said at the news conference announcing the "Longhorn Network" that $2 million of the initial funds will be used to create new faculty chairs in Philosophy and Physics.