UT System to spend $1.8M for study to beef up research

Austin Business Journal
July 8, 2003

The Austin-based University of Texas System will spend about $1.8 million for a study examining how to create "top tier" research institutions at its Arlington, Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio campuses.

The UT Board of Regents authorized UT Chancellor Mark Yudof to hire Washington, D.C.-based The Washington Advisory Group LLC to recommend strategies to develop research universities within the UT System.

The contract is valued at $1.6 million, with an additional $198,000 for estimated travel expenses.

UT's flagship Austin campus is the only one in the system ranked among the country's top 100 universities in research awards, according to the university.

The consulting firm also will make recommendations for enhancing research capabilities of UT's Brownsville, Pan American, Permian Basin and Tyler campuses. UT's six health sciences centers conduct extensive medical research.

"With the advice and counsel of The Washington Advisory Group, we will develop a strategic plan that will outline priority fields for research, delineate the need for faculty and graduate student expansion, and examine opportunities for marshaling public and private resources," Yudof says.

"We anticipate that public-private partnerships will be a fundamental element of every university's efforts to strengthen its presence in research."

The Washington Advisory Group specializes in research and development issues. The firm provides consulting services to universities, government agencies, companies and nonprofit organizations.

Two of the firm's principals have ties to Texas.

Dr. C. Thomas Caskey, president and CEO of Houston-based Cogene BioTech Ventures Ltd., has worked at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston for nearly 30 years in several senior positions, including chairman of molecular and human genetics. He is a member of the board of directors of Austin-based biotech company Luminex Inc. [Nasdaq: LMNX].

Joe Wyatt, former chancellor of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., earned degrees in mathematics from Texas Christian University and UT.

© 2003 American City Business Journals Inc.