Perry urges state lawmakers to give South Texas schools access to PUF funds
McALLEN — University of Texas-Brownsville President Juliet Garcia wasn’t expecting a mention of legislation granting her school and UT-Pan American access to the Permanent University Fund in the State of the State address. But she said hearing Gov. Rick Perry support the idea Tuesday in Austin was a “fantastic” surprise.
“We knew that the (UT System’s) chancellor and the regents had been talking to the governor’s office about it and asking if he would include it,” she said. “So apparently, they were successful.”
Perry’s endorsement is a significant step for university leaders and local lawmakers seeking approval from two-thirds of the Legislature for a university merger driven by access to the $12 billion Permanent University Fund, or PUF, endowments. UTPA and UTB are the only UT System schools that do not have access to the fund currently.
The governor made his remarks to members of the Texas Senate and House in the speech used to outline his legislative priorities before each session.