Speaker Phelan, Lamar University Announce Millions in New Funding for LU

Published 5:55 pm Thursday, September 23, 2021

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BEAUMONT – Lamar University President Jaime R. Taylor and Dade Phelan, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, announced that the recently approved state budget includes millions of dollars in new revenue to increase per-student funding at LU and mitigate the impact of recent tropical storms. Dr. Taylor was joined by Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall at a news conference today to recognize Speaker Phelan for his efforts to secure the additional funding.

The state budget for the 2021-23 biennium includes $17 million in “equity funding” to ensure that LU’s per-student funding is at approximately the same level as its peer institutions in Texas. The budget also includes $5.7 million for repairs and mitigation caused by recent tropical storms, including improvements to the Geology Building.

“I want to thank Chancellor McCall, President Taylor, and TSUS leadership for their commitment to Lamar University and Southeast Texas,” said Speaker Phelan. “This additional funding not only helps Lamar achieve its educational goals, but signals to the rest of the state that students in Southeast Texas will have access to the best education possible.”

The equity funding helps close a gap between LU and other public universities by raising per-student funding to the average of LU’s peer institutions in the state. This new funding is reoccurring, meaning it will be a part of LU’s funding structure going forward.

“This new funding allows us to be strategic instead of reactive. If we invest thoughtfully in promising academic programs and proven student success initiatives now, we will bring those dollars back in the form of better student retention and enrollment growth,” said Taylor.

In addition to the new funding championed by Speaker Phelan, Lamar University will receive an additional $13.8 million in formula funding–a 21 percent increase–due to enrollment growth.