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McCombs Optimistic About Funding from 2015 Legislature

For MBA programs at state-funded schools, like University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, a new legislative session can represent a chance to improve and grow. On January 13, 2015 the 84th Texas Legislature began their first day in session and schools are preparing for a big pitch.

This year $5 billon in tuition revenue bonds (TRBs) are on the line. If approved by lawmakers, more that $200 million will be headed for University of Texas at Austin. $105 million of which is earmarked for construction at McCombs School of Business.

University officials seem optimistic. Barry McBee, vice chancellor and chief governmental relations officer for the UT system expressed as much to Chad Swiatecki of the Austin Business journal.

“The state is in strong financial shape and we want to be in a dialogue with them about what our needs are,” said McBee. “There have been lots of new faces in the Legislature since the last time (TRBs) were passed in 2006, and they’ve heard us talk about how important their support is.”

TRBs are the primary state funding mechanism for construction on campuses. The $105 million UT marked for use at McCombs will go toward renovating the eponymous building. The renovations would replace outdated facilities and bring additional classroom space with new technologies.

Of course, university officials aren’t placing all their bets on TRBs. According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, this session they are also hoping the legislature will raise formula funding for colleges and universities. Schools are also waiting to see that the state will reimburse them for tuition costs related to the Hazlewood Act. The Hazlewood Act waives tuition for certain veterans. McBee said UT incurs about $350 million per year in costs related to this act.

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