These students are hooked on higher education. The University of Texas System runs 15 universities throughout the Lone Star State with a total enrollment of more than 210,000 students, making it one of the nation's largest university systems. Its flagship UT Austin campus, with some 51,000 students and a Longhorn mascot, has of the largest student populations in the US. UT System also runs half a dozen health institutions, including four medical schools. 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 central administration office is located on the UT Austin campus. Besides Austin, the system boasts eight additional academic campuses in the Texas cities of Arlington, Brownsville, Dallas, Edinburg, El Paso, Odessa, San Antonio, and Tyler. The system also has a land management office in West Texas and a federal relations center in Washington, DC.
The primary purpose of the system 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. UT System is governed by a nine-member board of regents that is appointed by the Texas governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate.
The UT System's administration has continued to work toward 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 comprises students pursuing degrees in health-related fields. 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.
In 2012 investments in capital asset additions were $1.7 billion, of which $1.2 billion consisted of new projects under construction. The UT System's revenue rose 4% in fiscal 2102 as compared to 2011. Increases in net tuition and fees as the result of an enrollment bump contributed toward the boost. Net sales and services of hospitals, net professional fees as a result of increases in patient volumes and rates, also helped the system's revenue increase, as well as net auxiliary enterprises attributable to increased gate receipts for athletic events. Net income declined, however, by 20% during the same reporting period, thanks to rising operating expenses due to growing student enrollment, research, and patient care activities. State appropriations and investment returns also conspired to make net income slide negatively.