Proposition 5 could bring millions of dollars to Texas Tech University for research

Published: Oct. 27, 2023 at 5:03 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2023 at 6:32 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Texas Tech University System is helping educate the public on Proposition 5, one of the 14 amendments to the state constitution on the ballot right now.

KCBD spoke with Texas Tech University System Chancellor Dr. Tedd Mitchell about how Proposition 5 could help Texas Tech build on its existing strengths.

If voters pass Proposition 5 on the November ballot, it will establish the Texas University Fund - a permanent $3.9 billion endowment that will benefit multiple Texas universities, including Texas Tech. Chancellor Mitchell says this Proposition is critical for the future of Texas higher education.

“The state was blessed this session that we had a $33 billion dollar surplus. Funds from that surplus were used for a variety of things, including moving $3 billion over into a separate account that will spin off and create money for the Texas University Fund or the TUF,” Chancellor Mitchell said.

If the Texas University Fund is approved by Texans, it will benefit the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, Texas State University, and Texas Tech. Chancellor Mitchell says this fund won’t require new taxes or additional costs to Texans.

“Future legislators won’t have to appropriate more money to come into this, so future taxpayers won’t have to add money to this,” Chancellor Mitchell said.

The fund would allow participating universities to expand investments in research. Chancellor Mitchell says if passed, Tech would use the funds to enhance research in programs that are specific to our area. Those include energy, agriculture, and health research.

“In my opinion and in President Schovanec’s opinion you have got to focus on those things that are your natural strengths that are a part of your DNA,” Mitchell said.

Although Texas Tech University is already considered a Carnegie tier-one research university, Chancellor Mitchell says this funding will only help Tech’s stellar reputation when it comes to research.

“It creates a reputational aura about a university coast to coast, and frankly, internationally as well. We are right at the edge of that, and we want to use this funding to really help catapult us over the top,” Chancellor Mitchell said.

If voters pass the proposition, it will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.