The UT System Board of Regents granted permission to the University to negotiate the purchase of another piece of land at its meeting Wednesday, according to The Daily Texan. The land is in the area currently leased by Schlotzsky’s Deli on 20th and Guadalupe streets.
This news comes less than a week after the University purchased a parcel of land located one block south, currently where Players Restaurant stands. The purchase came with a little bit of help from the McCombs School of Business Foundation, an independent educational foundation meant to financially support the business school.
The two areas of land are located right next to the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, which is partially owned by the school.
All recent actions lead to an inevitable expansion of the business school.
Despite the unparalleled time commitment navigating a complex state institution takes, laying the foundations for a new building at the same meeting in which a proposal to raise tuition by 2.6 percent is being challenged is tragically ironic.
The business school has a deeper donor base than any other school on campus. But every new building is partly funded by a loan taken out by the college, and the interest and principal of the loan is typically paid by that entity. Most of that money comes from students.
At some point, we have to question whether one of the most financially sound colleges on campus needs a new building or whether the creation has more to do with creating a legacy for a dean — in this case, Thomas Gilligan.
Gilligan, who served at the University of Southern California before coming to UT in 2008, has expressed troubling views on tuition in the past. Earlier this year at a town hall meeting at the business school, Gilligan said he believes that tuition is “inelastic to demand” — in other words, no matter the price, people will pay for it.
Asking students to foot the bill for a building they may never use is untimely at best. If the regents do decide to raise tuition, Gilligan’s island will continue to drift even further offshore.