Our budget is essentially flat. This is a lot better than other universities around the country, and that does give us some opportunities. But it still leaves us with difficult challenges. The source of money for the things we normally do — like salary increases and new initiatives — has always been budget growth, even modest growth. An essentially flat budget undermines our ability to address these priorities.

—William Powers Jr.

Glossary of Terms

Academic Enhancement

Part of the university’s overall budget dollars that come from contracts and grants, gifts and income collected for specific academic purposes such as library fees, field trips and orientation.
Available University Fund (AUF)
The distributed investment income, or spendable portion, of the Permanent University Fund (PUF).

The AUF is two-thirds of the investment income of the PUF and goes to the entire University of Texas System. The University of Texas at Austin then receives about 30 percent of the AUF.

Watch Video: How the PUF and AUF Work (2:01)

Learn what the PUF and AUF mean for the university's budget.
Indirect Costs
Fees associated with overhead (facilities, utilities, office supplies, computers, administrative staff) on sponsored research. The income comes from an assessment on some contracts and grants received for research.
Maintenance and Operations
The university’s operating expenses marked for repairing and renovating existing buildings and facilities, as well as for supplementing major capital construction projects. Includes other general operating expenses for all departments.
Permanent University Fund (PUF)
A public endowment that provides financial support to institutions in The University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems. While the endowment is substantial, the investment income is shared by 18 universities and six agencies in the two educational systems.

The PUF was established in 1876 by the Texas Constitution, and the income is derived from revenue generated by West Texas land provided by the state as a financial investment in higher education. Proceeds result from oil, gas, sulfur and water royalties, rentals on mineral and grazing leases, and gains on investments.

Read about the history of the Permanent University Fund at the Handbook of Texas Online.

Watch Video: How the PUF and AUF Work (2:01)

Learn what the PUF and AUF mean for the university's budget.
Salaries and Benefits
More than half of the university’s operating budget is spent on salaries and benefits, which includes salaries for faculty and staff, teaching assistants, wages and fringe benefits, such as group insurance, retirement contributions and workers’ compensation.
Endowed scholarships and fellowships for students in the form of grants.
Self-Supporting Units
Units that produce enough revenue to maintain their own budgets. These include Athletics, Housing and Food Service, Continuing Education, Parking and Transportation, McDonald Observatory, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Frank Erwin Center.
State General Revenue
Funding through appropriations from the Texas Legislature. The University of Texas at Austin receives only 16 percent of its 2009-10 budget from state funds.
Tuition Deregulation
Tuition-setting authority, formerly in the hands of the Texas State Legislature, is now handled by governing boards of public colleges and universities.

Under House Bill 3015, the Legislature granted tuition-setting authority to public university governing boards in 2003.

The university continues to offer tuition and fees that are lower than many peer institutions. Resident tuition and fees rank seventh out of a group of 12 comparable universities. This represents less than 24 percent of the overall university budget.