University of Texas
1:55 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Powers: 'Smarter Systems' Could Save UT-Austin $490 Million

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers says UT could save up to $490 million dollars over a decade by changing its operations system.  

Powers presented the cost-cutting recommendations, "Smarter Systems for a Greater UT "at a press conference today. The recommendation came from a committee of local business leaders Powers put together last April. The committee put forward measures raising the prices of housing, food and parking, outsourcing some parts of UT’s operation and commercializing UT-generated technology.

Powers emphasized that while the university operates a lot like a corporation, its core differs in that it relies on public's trust and fund to educate its students.

"Universities, real universities, are not simply businesses, so not all business concepts are practical or even appropriate," Powers said. 

The committee also recommended selling the excess energy UT generates and updating air control facilities which could reduce UT's energy consumption by 20 percent.

“What specifically we will do with the money that we save, of course, is a question that has to be answered in each budget year," Powers said. "But in general, I can tell you that it will help fund long-term initiatives of teaching and research."

Powers says the recommendations will be put into action over the span of several years. Kevin Hegarty, the current vice president and financial chief officer for UT, will head the effort to implement suggested recommendations.