Texas Tech System presidents hope to expand telehealth, aviation programs with state funds

TTU System presidents lay out their funding priorities for 2023
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech goes into the next legislative session with a new ask.

With five institutions under the Texas Tech banner, President Lawrence Schovanec says the system wants to keep Austin’s attention, “maintaining a $50 million source of funding the state provided in the last session for institutional enhancement.”

The previous money was originally for COVID-19 relief. Now, the university wants to make it annual, to support faculty and student growth. The Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Lubbock is focused on post-pandemic learning.

Lori Rice-Spearman, President of TTUHSC Lubbock, says, “We are asking for funding around a comprehensive telehealth network. That telehealth will allow us to continue to push into rural areas...”

In Wichita Falls, the newest addition, Midwestern State University, wants to expand one of its top programs.

JuliAnn Mazachek, President of Midwestern State, says, “We are seeking to build on our strength in the area of our health-related professions and our science and STEM-related professions.”

At the El Paso Health Sciences Center, Dr. Richard Lange wants the state to help his campus to become a leader in researching deadly diseases.

“We can take that and do chronic disease,” Lange says. “We can do the same thing with diabetes, obesity and chronic kidney diseases and liver disease and through telemedicine.”

In San Angelo, President Ronnie Hawkins Jr. wants to expand Angelo State’s commercial aviation program.

“That would put us within the top 10 schools in the country that produce commercial aviation pilots,” Hawkins says.

The state expects record high revenue due to sales tax and inflation, meaning more money to spend on state agencies. The legislature’s priorities this year include property tax relief, grade school safety, and water infrastructure. The session starts in January.