These students are hooked on higher education. The University of Texas System runs nine universities throughout the Lone Star State with a total enrollment of more than 210,000 students, making it one of the largest university systems in the US. Its flagship UT Austin campus, with some 51,000 students, has of the nation's largest student populations. UT System also runs six health institutions, including four medical schools, and the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math also account for a good number of the undergraduate and graduate degrees conferred by the system. Established in 1876, UT Austin opened in 1883. The UT System was formally organized in 1950.
The UT System's primary purpose is to provide administrative services for all of its campuses and institutions, including fundraising, endowment management, performance benchmarking, construction planning, and legal and real estate services. The primary central administration office is located on the UT Austin campus; the UT System also has a land management office in West Texas and a federal relations center in Washington, DC.
The system received a new chancellor in early 2009 when Francisco Cigarroa was named to the post. Due to economic conditions, Cigarroa has been focused on reducing the school's operating budget, which stood at $11.9 at the end of 2010. Cost reduction measures have included streamlining administrative functions, raising tuition, and cutting ineffective programs.
At the same time, the UT System's administration has continued to work towards the overall goals of maintaining quality and affordability at the campuses, increasing graduation rates, and enhancing the system's standing in research and medical education. The organization has also been working to reduce its student-teacher ratios (at an average of 19:1 in 2010) since about 2005 by increasing the number of faculty members.
In addition, the UT System has launched a $3 billion renovation and construction program at its campuses. About two-thirds of the projects, which are largely focused on health, science, technology, and engineering infrastructure, were completed between 2006 and 2010; the rest are schedule for completion by 2015.
A large portion of the UT System's student population is composed of students pursuing degrees in health-related fields. In 2010 the system awarded roughly 6,500 health-related undergraduate and graduate certificates and degrees. More than a third of those were nursing degrees (both graduate and undergraduate). UT health institutions include the UT Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, which includes medical schools and hospital locations, and the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Austin.
The UT System is also heavily focused on research. In 2010 the system's institutions had $2.4 billion in research expenditures, more than half of which was funded through federal grants. UT spends some 20% of its annual budget on research, generating about 60% of all academic R&D in Texas and 70% of R&D conducted by public universities. – less