Friday, May 19, 2006

UTPB Gets Good News

This has been one of the biggest weeks in the history of my young university. The scuttlebut began flowing around campus on Monday, with confirmation coming in on Tuesday: After finally settling public school funding issues that have been vexing Texas as elsewhere in the US, the state legislature followed up by immediately approving a Tuition Revenue Bond for higher education. UTPB has had two building projects approved, including a $54 million science and technology center and a $45 million performing arts center. For those of you keeping score, that is $99 million worth of buildings, giving UTPB a big percentage of the state's budget for higher education building -- $1.8 billion total will go to 40 colleges and universities. UTPB is tiny in the scheme of the flagship University of Texas system, never mind that Texas also has the A&M system, the Texas Tech system, the state colleges, as well as junior colleges. This sort of disproportionate investment, then, is a ringing vote of confidence.

Major players in the state, including Speaker of the Texas House Tom Craddick, a Republican from Midland, came to the Permian Basin for a press conference that was packed. Craddick was a vital figure in getting the support for UTPB, and the performing arts center in particular bears his fingerprints. It will be located near the Center for Energy and Economic Diversification, which is located a few miles from campus, not far from the Midland International Airport, and will serve both the university and the surrounding communities.

This support represents not only obvious tangible benefits for UTPB, but also shows that we are a vibrant and vital part of the University of Texas system and of higher education in the state generally.


Thunderstick said...

Good stuff for UTPB. Now if they can only afford a decent color commentator for their men's and women's hoops team. The current guy sucks eggs.

dcat said...

I'm sure his time is running low. the program is moving toward NCAA DII status, the campus is building, and frankly, the current guy is an embarassment.