Matches Bolster Impact of Record Alumni Gifts

Oct. 7, 2011

Friday’s record alumni gifts to The University of Texas at Dallas received  sizable boosts from two programs designed to increase research productivity and spur growth at Texas universities.

Contributions from Naveen Jindal MBA’92, Charles Davidson MS’80 and Nancy Davidson BS’80 came with $10 million in matching funds from the two inititatives:  the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP) and the UT System Board of Regents’ Research Incentive Program.

Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP)

The Tier One bill was signed into law at UT Dallas on June 17, 2009. This landmark legislation created state matching funds for private gifts directed to purposes that support the development of more national research universities in Texas. UT Dallas is among seven institutions designated as “Emerging Research Universities” eligible for these funds.

Since the passage of this legislation, the TRIP fund has received $81.8 million to match private giving.

Other highlights of the TRIP program:

  • Gift CriteriaOnly gifts made to support research are eligible for TRIP matching funds.  According to the Tier One law, the following categories of gifts will be eligible: “…a gift or endowment for endowed chairs, professorships, facilities, equipment, program costs, or graduate stipends or fellowships.”
  • The Opportunity to Advance UT DallasThe matching funds available through TRIP give UT Dallas a timely opportunity to advance toward its goal of becoming the next national research university in Texas.  By establishing more endowed faculty positions and graduate fellowships, and enhancing research facilities and programs, UT Dallas can bolster its research capacity and advance rapidly toward its goal of becoming a national research university.

The UT System Research Incentive Program

In October 2009, the UT System regents authorized the creation of a $10 million fund to enhance infrastructure at four institutions considered to be among the state’s emerging research universities.

The UT System Research Incentive Program, as it is called, provides one-time matching funds to help the emerging institutions leverage private gifts dedicated toward expanding research productivity and faculty recruitment. Eligible institutions include UT Arlington, UT Dallas, UT El Paso and UT San Antonio.

The program, funded with bond proceeds from the Permanent University Fund (PUF), matches funds given to those universities on a progressive scale, depending on the amount.

To achieve so-called “Tier One” status, universities typically must have research portfolios in excess of $100 million, outstanding academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and highly talented faculty, among other factors.

Additional Legislation

A further component of this effort to build more Tier One universities in Texas was a constitutional amendment to “repurpose” an existing state endowment which holds assets of more than $600 million.  The repurposing of this Higher Education Fund, which voters approved in November 2009, has resulted in these funds being designated for a new National Research University Fund (NRUF). Income from this endowment would be made available to the seven Emerging Research Universities, but only after they meet or exceed several key research productivity benchmarks. To date, no university has yet been certified to receive NRUF funds.


Media Contact: Katherine Morales, 972-883-4321, kmorales@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, 972-883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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