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The early years of the Permanent University Fund from 1836 to 1937

by Matthews, Charles R.

Abstract (Summary)
The story of the early years of the Permanent University Fund has been told many times. However, this dissertation attempts to tell the story using as primary source documents the minutes of the University of Texas Board of Regents meetings. In doing the research, it soon became apparent that the Regents minutes would give an incomplete story line, so a more historical research approach was used. Early Texas leaders had an interest in higher education from the beginning of the Republic of Texas. It is interesting to note that this occurred at a time when there was very little in the way of formal public elementary or secondary schools in the state. Nevertheless, the early legislatures put into place a series of laws that laid a very good foundation for Texas higher education. v The establishment of the PUF and the efforts of early Regents to manage this asset correctly is one of the great stories of the state. The Regents began managing a large number of acres of land that had little value except as grazing land. The value of the property was low, and the income derived from the land was modest. Later, with the discovery of oil on these lands, there was and continues to be great wealth generated. The increase in wealth that came primarily from oil leases caused a number of interesting disagreements. The long-running dispute between the University of Texas and Texas A & M College is researched until 1937 when the A & M Board decided to stop pursuing the financial and legal issues. Because of the wealth and the activity that occurred on the PUF land, there was a long-running dispute between the Regents and the Commissioner of the General Land Office that is important to the story of the PUF. The impact the Bureau of Economic Geology had on the PUF is closely documented and seems to prove the importance of well-educated geologists on the successful discovery and production of oil on the PUF land. It has been said that this story of the University of Texas and the Permanent University Fund is really a story about Texas, because it involves land, oil and education. The impact of the PUF on higher education in Texas has been enormous. vi
Bibliographical Information:

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School:The University of Texas at Austin

School Location:USA - Texas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:permanent university fund of texas agricultural and mechanical college

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