Senate Higher Ed committee approves university merger, med school bill

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Senate higher education committee unanimously approved legislation authorizing a South Texas university merger and a medical school Wednesday, clearing another hurdle for Rio Grande Valley lawmakers’ biggest legislative priority.

The House higher ed committee, which held a hearing on an identical bill last month, may take a vote this afternoon.

The bill would create one regional university by merging University of Texas-Pan American and UT-Brownsville and open the $13 billion Permanent University Fund to the new institution. The new university would also house the medical school, which supporters said Wednesday is critical to addressing the physician shortage in the Valley.

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