Tough economic times and a protracted recession have greatly affected the University’s budget and families trying to send their children to college. Reduced state funding made it necessary to cut $46 million every year out of the University’s budget.  More cuts are still needed.

Why? The primary reason is to keep a UT Austin degree as affordable as possible for our students and their families. Another reason is to free up long-term resources to invest in our core missions of teaching and research as envisioned by the Commission of 125.

In April of last year, President Powers asked 13 distinguished leaders in business to come together and offer advice on improving the University’s business operations and processes so we may realize the savings needed to continue to financially support our academic and research mission. The Committee on Business Productivity was created and, over the course of 2012, met several times as a full committee and even more often as working subcommittees. In addition, the committee’s support staff, some of whom established an office here on campus, conducted scores of interviews with our own staff and with staff at other universities across the country on different aspects of campus operations, campus assets and commercialization of intellectual property.

The committee’s report, Smarter Systems for a Greater UT (pdf), was presented to the President Powers in January of 2013. The President shared the report with the campus in his January 29, 2013 speech.