UT System shuts tech-style learning unit as it works to pare spending


The University of Texas System has closed a unit that works to expand online classes and competency-based education after seeding it with nearly $100 million.

The action last week was not surprising, given that a reconstituted Board of Regents wants to cut system administration spending to free up more money for the various campuses. The executive director and the chief innovation officer of the system’s Institute for Transformational Learning had resigned last year.

Since its inception in 2012, the institute — with elements of a tech startup and an educational program — had received about $98 million from the multibillion-dollar Permanent University Fund overseen by the regents. Although it had been budgeted for 46 employees last year, it was already in wind-down mode.

The unit’s closing, which was first reported by the Texas Tribune, cost 29 system employees and 13 contract workers their jobs, and $23 million left in the institute’s budget will be reallocated, said Karen Adler, a system spokeswoman.



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