UT Regents Approve $392M in PUF Proceeds for Capital Projects

This year’s provision includes a unique collaboration strategy where UT System institutions operate as a “team of teams”.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Austin, Texas—The University of Texas System Board of Regents recently approved $392.2 million from Permanent University Fund bonds as a source of funding for nine capital projects at UT academic and health institutions.

For the first time, this year’s provision includes cross-institutional facilities funding for a first-of-its-kind collaboration, encouraging UT System institutions to operate as a “team of teams”. At Chancellor William McRaven’s recommendation, Regents approved $45 million in PUF bonds for a cancer collaboration among UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Health San Antonio, UT Health Northeast, UT Medical Branch in Galveston and UT Austin’s Dell Medical School. The funds will be divided roughly equally among the five institutions either to renovate existing facilities or build new ones. It could also be directed toward the acquisition of equipment and information systems.

“This is a milestone moment for The University of Texas System,” Chairman Paul Foster said in a prepared statement. “The board fully supports Chancellor McRaven’s approach of driving partnerships and incentivizing collaboration. Imagine the greater impact the UT System can have on Texas, the nation and even the world, if we pool the collective, extraordinary talent and resources spread across UT’s 14 institutions.”

Following last year’s nine-step Quantum Leaps initiative, the System is developing a collaborative UT Health Care Enterprise that will leverage its size and expertise and connect its regional capabilities. “One of the pillars of this critical Quantum Leap is to develop UT Systemwide service lines, starting with cancer and building upon the expertise and stellar reputation of UT MD Anderson,” McRaven added. “Four separate collaborations are being developed between UT MD Anderson and sister UT entities, leveraging unique strengths at each institution.”

The $347.2 million is marked out as a source of funding for several facilities at UT academic and health institutions, whose presidents were asked to prioritize projects. The individual campus projects are:

  • UT Austin Energy Engineering Building—$100 million in PUF funding. The anticipated total project cost is $160 million;
  • UT Dallas Math and Science Building—$89 million in PUF funding for a 175,000-gross-square-foot building;
  • UT Permian Basin Kinesiology Building—$14.2 million in PUF funding for a 43,000-square-foot building to house the Kinesiology Department’s classrooms, labs, training room and office space, for a total projected cost of $16.2 million;
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center O’Donnell Brain Institute/Simmons Cancer Center—$39 million in PUF funding to help fund the construction of a mixed-use space for both the O’Donnell Brain Institute and the Simmons Cancer Center grow. The new facility, projected to cost $245 million, will include space for research, academic and clinical purposes;
  • UT Medical Branch Behavioral Health Treatment, Research, and Education Center—$15 million in PUF funding to help build a 33,000-square-foot facility that will house education, research and treatment services focusing on mental health. The facility’s projected cost is $30 million;
  • UT Health Houston Research Building—$30 million in PUF funding to help build a 187,000-square-foot research facility for medical, public health, informatics and interprofessional work. The total anticipated cost is $136 million;
  • UT Health San Antonio Barshop Institute—$30 million in PUF funding to partially fund the construction of a new home for the Barshop Institute. The Institute is currently located 23 miles from the main campus in a location not ideally situated for growth, efficiency or interaction with other programs. The current location is being sold so a replacement building, with an anticipated cost of $60 million, can be built on the main campus;
  • UT Health Northeast School of Community and Rural Health—$30 million in PUF funds to fully fund the construction of a 67,000-square-foot building to house the new School of Community and Rural Health. Regents approved the creation of the school in February 2016 and it will welcome its first students in January 2017.

Image courtesy of The University of Texas System