The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) is a public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. The University of Texas was inducted into the Association of American Universities in 1929, becoming only the third university in the American South to be elected. The institution has the nation's eighth-largest single-campus enrollment, with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff.|
Student athletes compete as the Texas Longhorns and are members of the Big 12 Conference. Its Longhorn Network is the only sports network featuring the college sports of a single university. The Longhorns have won four NCAA Division I National Football Championships, six NCAA Division I National Baseball Championships, thirteen NCAA Division I National Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, and has claimed more titles in men's and women's sports than any other school in the Big 12 since the league was founded in 1996.
In 1845, Texas was annexed into the United States. The state's Constitution of 1845 failed to mention higher education. On February 11, 1858, the Seventh Texas Legislature approved O.B. 102, an act to establish the University of Texas, which set aside $100,000 in United States bonds toward construction of the state's first publicly funded university (the $100,000 was an allocation from the $10 million the state received pursuant to the Compromise of 1850 and Texas's relinquishing claims to lands outside its present boundaries). The legislature also designated land reserved for the encouragement of railroad construction toward the university's endowment. On January 31, 1860, the state legislature, wanting to avoid raising taxes, passed an act authorizing the money set aside for the University of Texas to be used for frontier defense in west Texas to protect settlers from Indian attacks.
On April 10, 1883, the legislature supplemented the Permanent University Fund with another 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) of land in west Texas granted to the Texas and Pacific Railroad, but returned to the state as seemingly too worthless to even survey. The legislature additionally appropriated $256,272.57 to repay the funds taken from the university in 1860 to pay for frontier defense and for transfers to the state's General Fund in 1861 and 1862. The 1883 grant of land increased the land in the Permanent University Fund to almost 2.2 million acres. Under the Act of 1858, the university was entitled to just over 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land for every mile of railroad built in the state. Had the 1876 Constitution not revoked the original 1858 grant of land, by 1883 the university lands would have totaled 3.2 million acres, so the 1883 grant was to restore lands taken from the university by the 1876 Constitution, not an act of munificence.
The old Victorian-Gothic Main Building served as the central point of the campus's 40-acre (16 ha) site, and was used for nearly all purposes. But by the 1930s, discussions arose about the need for new library space, and the Main Building was razed in 1934 over the objections of many students and faculty. The modern-day tower and Main Building were constructed in its place.
The discovery of oil on university-owned lands in 1923 and the subsequent addition of money to the university's Permanent University Fund allowed the legislature to address funding for the university along with the Agricultural and Mechanical College (now known as Texas A&M University). With sufficient funds now in the Permanent University Fund to finance construction on both campuses, on April 8, 1931, the Forty Second Legislature passed H.B. 368. it the largest stadium (by capacity) in the state of Texas at the time.
A 2005 Bloomberg survey ranked the school 5th among all business schools and first among public business schools for the largest number of alumni who are S&P 500 CEOs. Similarly, a 2005 USA Today report ranked the university as "the number one source of new Fortune 1000 CEOs." A "payback" analysis published by SmartMoney in 2011 comparing graduates' salaries to tuition costs concluded the school was the second-best value of all colleges in the nation, behind only Georgia Tech. A 2013 College Database study found that UT Austin was 22nd in the nation in terms of increased lifetime earnings by graduates.
In the Fall of 2016, the school employed 3,128 full-time faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 18.86 to 1. These include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, the Primetime Emmy Award, and other various awards. Nine Nobel Laureates are or have been affiliated with the University of Texas at Austin. Research expenditures for the university exceeded $615 million for the 2016–2017 school year.