Young Conservatives of Texas Oppose Proposition 4

Press Releases / October 7, 2009

AUSTIN – The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT), a non-partisan grassroots organization, has announced their opposition to Proposition 4, a measure that would create a constitutionally dedicated fund called the National Research University Fund (NRUF).

“Most of YCT’s members are students at public universities across the state, and we have seen how the focus on research in higher education not only harms the quality of education students receive but also inflates the cost of their tuition,” explains Tony McDonald, Vice Chairman of Legislative Affairs.

Proposition 4, if passed, will expand the role of government where government isn’t needed. The private market has already shown that it can take care of our nation’s research needs. Research performed under the free market is also managed more efficiently, studies issues that can impact society in a beneficial way, and isn’t subsidized by Texas taxpayers and students.

“Texas Universities need to be reminded that the students are the customers, not the faculty. Texans would be much better off if research were handled by the private sector. Profits and the drive to innovate in the market are a much better catalyst for sound and useful research than the self-promotion of academics,” asserts McDonald.

As of 2007, Texas universities spent about $9 billion on scientific research that has generated a mere $8.3 million a year in income, a rate of return of less than one-tenth of 1 percent (.09 percent). Research suggests that had these funds instead been invested conservatively, earning 5 percent a year, the return would have been enough to provide a four-year college degree to more than 50,000 additional Texans a year.

“We need to remind Texas Universities that they were created to be, first-and-foremost, teaching institutions,” adds McDonald. “In recent years, so-called ‘Tier-one Research Universities’ have largely fallen away from that rightful mission of educating Texas students.”

To learn more about YCT’s position against Proposition 4, please view the attached hand out or visit their website.

Contact: Tony McDonald, Vice Chairman of Legislative Affairs, 512-923-6893

Attachment: Download the one-page handout