The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988 Page: 274
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
For the sixty-year period from 1923 through 1983, by means of roy-
alties, rentals, leases, sales, and bonuses, the state of Texas realized
$1,902,619,273.57 for the support of education. Designated the Per-
manent University Fund, this money generates investment income that
is used entirely for the support of Texas A&M and the University of
Texas. The latter receives two-thirds of the oil income and with its share
has indeed become a university of the first class.
There has long been a need for a study of the Permanent University
Fund. The story of the development and application of this great re-
source is fascinating and complicated. At first production leases were
granted by the legislature, and then by the commissioner of the Gen-
eral Land Office. Since 1929 the administration of the fund has been
handled by a committee of the U.T. Board of Regents known as the
Board for the Lease of University Lands. The system has frequently
been involved in controversies, from the early days when the fund did
not receive all the income to which it was entitled from the producers to
more recent times when the restricted application of the interest in-
come was widely questioned and challenged in the courts. A detailed,
systematic, and scholarly analysis of these and all other events sur-
rounding the development and use of the Permanent University Fund
would be welcome indeed.
Unfortunately, this volume does not suffice. It consists largely of in-
formation compiled over a long period of time by the man who for
many years served as geologist in charge of University lands. This com-
pilation contains enormous detail, but it is entirely undistilled. The
book offers no analysis and little or no development of any of the main
themes of the story. Nor does it discuss the specific educational uses of
the money. Moreover, the legal action initiated a few years ago by Mid-
western State University that led to the recent creation of the Higher
Education Assistance Fund, a fund of comparable size designated for
the use of all the other state universities, is not mentioned. Of the 297
pages of text, nearly one-half (137 pages!) consist of direct quotations
from legislative records or correspondence. Without training as either
a historian or a writer, the author was unable to handle his raw data
effectively, and it is a sad commentary on the judgment of the editors at
the Texas Western Press that they allowed this book to be published in
its present form. All interested parties, from the author to the reading
public, would have been much better served if the manuscript had been
given to a professional historian for revision before it was sent to the
KENNETH E. HENDRICKSON, JR.
Midwestern State Universzty
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988, periodical, 1987/1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/m1/314/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.