With three new regents, including one from McAllen, the University of Texas System board Wednesday will consider principles to guide the creation of a new university here and a significant number of property transactions in Brownsville.
The 15 bullet points listed as goals for the new university, which has yet to be named, are outlined in the board’s agenda book. Among them are many ideas officials have already made public as they’ve discussed the merger of the University of Texas-Pan American and the University of Texas at Brownsville into one institution that promises to also bring a medical school.
Goals listed include serving as a “Gateway to the Americas” with full integration of the latest technology, striving to become one of the largest successful Hispanic-serving institutions in the nation and becoming a hub for research and inventions that addresses local, state, national and global needs while bringing economic prosperity.
“The new university will transform Texas and the nation by becoming a leader in student success, teaching, research and health care,” the guiding principles documents reads, also stating it will be affordable, accessible and innovative.
Also on the agenda is a license for the Nebraska Book Company to operate in UTPA’s bookstore and later in the Learning Resource Center.
The bulk of the Valley-centric action rests in Brownsville, as three different property leases and several acquisitions of Texas Southmost College property and transfers from UT System to the college go before the board.
In November 2011, the UT System Board of Regents voted to terminate the partnership between UTB and TSC. The following February, the TSC board voted for the community college’s autonomy. Since then, the two entities have begun sorting out their assets.
The Brownsville leases to be considered by the UT System board each include base rent figures to stretch over their perspective terms.
The largest figure is a lease not to exceed $2.8 million for UTB office space and educational use at 451 E. Alton Gloor, according to board documents.
The sum would include base rent and operating expenses over a possible eight year-term. The 16,298 square feet to be leased is owned by J. & M. Zamora Family, L. P. and must be available by Aug. 1.
The board will also consider a lease for 17,200 square feet of RRV Klein Church property, Ltd. for an initial three-year term with a base rent of $425,700 at 1601 E. Price Road. The lease would begin Sept. 1.
An initial four-year term lease with $370,320 in base rent for 9,258 square feet in two City of Brownsville buildings at 1301 E. Madison, as well as an adjacent lot, will also be considered. The lease would begin Aug. 1.