State legislator discusses funding
Brimer also analyzes Gov. Bush's presidential run
by Sally Claunch
The Shorthorn staff
A state legislator addressed a government class here Wednesday, describing the
university's funding process.
Rep. Kim Brimer, R-Arlington, who came to speak to political science students Monday,
also said the state's governor will maintain his lead in the presidential race and
encouraged students to get involved in public service.
Allan Saxe, political science associate professor, invited Brimer to the university in
hopes that he'd shed some light on the inner workings of Texas politics.
"I don't want any government class to be only a textbook experience," Saxe
said. "I think it's important that all members of the Texas delegations from this
area come to campus, see the classrooms, and see how the students react to them."
Brimer discussed negotiations over the university's funding in order to illustrate
Brimer said the university got $10.8 million more funding than in the last session
because university President Robert Witt worked with Rep. Robert Junell, D-San Angelo, and
Brimer to get the money here.
"Dr. Witt did an excellent job - he was there with us in Austin a lot,"
He said when the budget was laid out initially, the university stood to get less
funding than it got last session. He said Witt called him and expressed his concern about
the lack of funding. Brimer met with Witt and Junelle and worked out a plan to give the
university more funding.
Brimer said the trio originally wanted funds designated for recruitment for the
university to offset the money the University of North Texas was getting to start up its
new South Dallas campus.
Although he was unable to get the funds specifically dedicated, the university got the
extra money put into the general budget.
Witt said that he was able to accomplish most of his objective because of
representatives such as Brimer.
"A large portion of credit for the progress UTA made financially rests on their
outstanding commitment to the university," Witt said.
Even with this additional money, Brimer said the university missed opportunities in
another area to get funding for research.
The University of Houston was sponsoring the Flagship Program, which would provide
matching funds for private donations to universities involving research.
"The bill would have qualified UTA as third or fourth in funding to match
funds," he said. "This would have meant $3 or $4 million more."
Brimer also spoke about Gov. George W. Bush running for president. He said Bush is
definitely up to the challenge.
"Can Gov. Bush maintain this slam-dunk lead?" he said. "Yes. There is no
doubt in my mind that he can take on the challenger and lead the country well."
He said Bush addresses tough issues and is well-informed in state, national and
He added that students should participate in government and consider public service. He
explained how important it is to be concerned about government and how everyone is
obligated to give something back to the community.
"I am here tonight to encourage students to participate in public service,"
he said. "Public service is great experience, so get active contribute and put