The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983 Page: 298
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
brought in $300,600 to the Permanent Fund, or $37.36 an acre, nearly
double the average of the previous five years. A subsequent auction in
October collected a similar high return. Both the regents and the AcM
directors were pleased.60
There remained only to institutionalize the new order. In 1937,
vigorous lobbying in Austin by regents and directors induced the leg-
islature to pass SB 343, which formalized the Parten and Morgan rec-
ommendations. This law made open auctions mandatory, provided for
paying an auctioneer with public money, and required companies to
submit all the information they gathered exploring University lands
to the General Land Office, where it would be made publicly available.
This is essentially the system in place today.61
By the outbreak of World War II, better than 250,000 of the Uni-
versity's acres were under lease for oil and gas. Wells in twenty-three
fields were adding approximately a million dollars a year to the
Permanent University Fund, which had grown so that it supplied
nearly $564,000 to the University's share of the Available Fund dur-
ing the 1942 fiscal year.62
The Permanent Fund did not guarantee a problem-free develop-
ment for the University of Texas and Texas A8M. By 1980, its $1.3-
billion book value was again attracting covetous glances from other
state schools, and future legislative sessions promise more battles over
the money from the oil lands. But whatever the future of the Perma-
nent Fund, its desirability in the present is at least partly the result of
the competent way it was handled in the past.6s
60Berte R. Haigh, "The University of Texas System Public Auction Sales of Oil and Gas
Leases," May 27, 1981, private files of Berte R. Haigh; Parten to D. F. P., Apr. 11, 1981, in-
terview; Haigh, "Land, Oil, Education," IV-197; Regents Minutes, Vol. K, July 27, 1936, p.
325; Directors Minutes, Vol. 5, May 29, 1937, pp. 91-93-
61Directors Minutes, Vol. 5, May 29, 1937, pp. 91-93; Texas, Legislature, General and
Special Laws of the State of Texas Passed by the Forty-fifth Legislature at the Regular
Session Convened at the City of Austin, January 12, 1937, and Adjourned May 22, 1937
(Austin, n.d.), 280-283.
62Midland Reporter-Telegram, Feb. 16, 1941, copy in clippings scrapbook, "Oil Lands-
UT, 1938-1961" (BTHC); George A. Hill, Jr., "The Spirit of Santa Rita," Southwestern
Historical Quarterly, XLVIII (July, 1944), 83; Miller, Public Lands, 278; Financial Report
of the University of Texas and Its Branches (for year ending August 31, 1942) (n.p., n.d.),
79 (Comptroller's Office, University of Texas, Ashbel Smith Building, Austin).
63Comptroller's Office, University of Texas, to D. F. P., Dec., 1981, telephone interview;
Amy Johnson, "The Haves and the Have-Nots," Texas Observer, July lo, 1981, pp. 4-8.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983, periodical, 1982/1983; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/m1/334/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.