Endorsement watch: For that amendment, you know the one

The Chron approves an amendment but forgets to tell us which one.

So much has changed in the 15 years since Renu Khator became UH’s president. She set a clear goal for Tier 1 status and worked toward it step by step, developing support from donors and state leaders.

In fundraising, it can take years of building up trust before a big ask succeeds, and that’s what Khator accomplished. It took nearly 100 years for UH to accumulate a $1 billion endowment but that saved up fund could more than double overnight this fall.

The Legislature budgeted nearly $4 billion for a new endowment that would include UH, Texas Tech, University of North Texas and Texas State University. Before UH can claim its share, though, voters have to approve a constitutional amendment establishing the Texas University Fund.

We can’t stress enough how transformational this investment will be, not just for UH, but for our city. The continued prosperity of Houston depends on cutting edge research and an educated workforce.


As we’ve written before, UH has worked hard to earn Texas’ respect. Texans have a clear chance to put another university among the top 50 public universities. Vote “yes” for the proposed $1 billion endowment boost.

“Great!” you say. “I’d love to vote for that! Which amendment on the ballot is that one again?” Umm, well, this is as much as the endorsement editorial tells you. You’re smart people, surely you can figure it out while you’re there casting your ballot, right?

Have no fear, I’m here to help. Looking back at the Trib story in my post about the amendments on the ballot, it seems clear to me that it’s this one:

Proposition 5HJR 3 “The constitutional amendment relating to the Texas University Fund, which provides funding to certain institutions of higher education to achieve national prominence as major research universities and drive the state economy.”

What it means: If passed, the amendment would rename the National Research University Fund to the Texas University Fund. The university fund would gain the annual interest income, dividends and investment earnings from Texas’ rainy day fund to support research at state universities. Total money moved to the university fund in the 2024 fiscal year would be limited to $100 million. The annual amount may be adjusted for inflation and is limited to a 2% growth rate. The Texas A&M and University of Texas systems will not receive money from the fund as they receive research funds from a separate Permanent University Fund.

House Bill 1595 will also take effect if the amendment is passed, requiring the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to determine which universities are eligible and the size of each deposit. The fund will be managed by the comptroller and the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company.

So yes, vote for State Proposition 5. And remember who told you which one it was.

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