Lamar University Leads in State Funding Formula Increase, Recognizes Collaborative Efforts

Lamar University has earned the highest percentage increase in formula funding among all 38 colleges and universities in Texas. Recently approved by the state legislature for the next biennium, this boost in funding demonstrates a growing alignment between the university's goals and the state's vision for higher education. QuadFunding

Lamar University President Jaime Taylor understands the importance of funding formulas from his previous work at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. Since assuming the presidency of Lamar University in 2021, Taylor said he has made formula funding a top priority in strategic planning

"Funding formulas can play a crucial role in the long-term success of colleges and universities," Taylor said.

Before the advent of funding formulas, state funding models were more subjective, and they often preserved longstanding inequities between institutions. Allocations were typically determined through historical budgeting practices, political negotiations, or size of institution. By contrast, funding formulas provide a more transparent and predictable approach. State legislatures allocate funds based on specific published criteria related to student success or to important academic program objectives for the state. 

According to Taylor, Lamar University’s success with the funding formula is due to its commitment to producing graduates in professional programs that meet the needs of Southeast Texas. "We worked hard to prioritize the initiatives and programs that truly matter for Texas, which in turn helped us to secure the highest percentage increase," Taylor said.

While Lamar University's performance in meeting formula metrics played a significant role, Taylor pointed out that the legislature also increased the overall funding allocated to the formula pool. "This additional funding effectively doubled the percentage increase we earned compared to what we would have received based on our performance alone," Taylor said. Taylor specifically recognized Speaker of the House Dade Phelan's leadership in securing the additional funding that was allocated to the formula pool.

Mark Robinson, Lamar University's Chief Financial Officer, emphasized the impact of the increased funding on the university's financial stability and success. "This boost in resources will enhance our financial reserves and give us more room to pursue innovative financial strategies that align with our mission."

In addition to formula funding increases, Phelan and other state legislators successfully advocated for enhanced funding for the Hazlewood Legacy Reimbursement and for increased support for health insurance costs. Phelan also secured funding for the establishment of a new Institute for Energy and Petrochemical Industries' Engineering Needs at Lamar University.  

Now that the legislative session has concluded, Taylor expressed deep appreciation for the comprehensive support provided by the Texas State University System. "They have been a vital source of guidance and support, helping us to develop fruitful interactions with the legislature. Thanks to them, Lamar University can effectively advocate for our needs and priorities."