Article 7, Section 10, of the Texas Constitution orders the establishment of a state university and its maintenance, support, and direction (1). The Texas Education Code legislatively delegates these responsibilities to the UT system Board of Regents appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate (2). The board may provide for the administration, organization, and names of the institutions and entities in The University of Texas System to achieve their maximum operating efficiency.
The UT System Board of Regents also recognizes that there are external nonprofit organizations whose sole purpose is to benefit The University of Texas System, its institutions, or teaching, research, and other activities within those institutions. These organizations are administered by boards of directors independent from the control and supervision of the UT System Board of Regents (3). The Rules specifically provide that gifts or bequests from any such external nonprofit organization must be accepted and approved under the Boardís gift acceptance policies (4). These policies are incorporated in the UT System Gift Acceptance Procedures, which also outlines the process for accepting gifts from individuals, corporations, and other entities to the UT System or any UT System institution (5).
The Regentsí Rules and Regulations require the President of each UT System institution to publish a Handbook of Operating Procedures that promulgates the official policies and procedures of the institution. Authority for establishing institutional policies and procedures is delegated by the Board of Regents to the President, subject to the approval of the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. The Regentsí Rules and Regulations are incorporated into UTMBís Institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures (IHOP) with the proviso that a UTMB policy may not conflict with or supersede Regents' Rules and Regulations. Before official publication in the IHOP, policies must undergo review and approval by the IHOP Committee and the Council of Deans, with the final institutional approval by the Strategic Executive Council. Policies are then sent to the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs for Systems approval (6).
The UTMB IHOP also sets out specific rules and policy guidelines for relationships and transactions between faculty and employees at UTMB and vendors and industries regarding acceptance and/or solicitation of gifts or benefits. The UTMB policy is in addition to standards of conduct and conflict of interest codes and policies in the Texas Government Code, the Texas Penal Code, and the UT System Ethics Policies and Guidelines (7a) (7b).
UTMB has the following related and affiliated corporate entities each of which is governed by its own board and the approved bylaws of the entity and acts in support of the mission of UTMB:
UTMB Health Plans, Inc., a 501(c) (3) charitable organization DBA UTMB Healthcare Systems (8), a health related corporation as defined in the Texas Medical Practices Act (9). The corporation was established to help UTMB fulfill its mission of education, research and patient care. The corporation is administered solely for the benefit of UTMB by providing, directly or indirectly, assistance and benefit, financial or otherwise, to UTMB through whatever means are determined by the Board of Directors, including but not limited to, making distributions or providing services to UTMB or any affiliate of UTMB. Specifically, the Corporation is organized and shall be operated to carry out the following purposes: (a) Directly or indirectly furnishing, arranging for, providing, or contracting for the provision of, health care to the public, including but not limited to the delivery of physician medical services and other health care services to persons who are entitled to health care benefits through policies of health insurance, employer self-funded health benefit plans, Medicare/Medicaid, health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations, managed care contracts, as well as to private pay patients; and billing and collecting for such services, and ownership of interest(s) in one or more entities providing such services to the public; (b) Supporting health care education through grants to UTMB to be used for educating students in health care programs; for scholarships and loans to such students; for programs to enhance the capabilities of the faculty of UTMB to educate students in the delivery of health care to the public; and for programs developed and implemented by UTMB to inform and instruct the general public in the areas of medical science, public health, hygiene and other health-related subjects that are beneficial to individuals and the community; (c) Providing grants to UTMB to conduct research and develop educational programs to further and improve the ability of health care professionals and facilities to provide health care services to the public; and (d) Other activities useful or appropriate to the accomplishing of the foregoing purposes and that support the mission of UTMB as determined by the Board of Directors (10).
UTMB Student Book Store and Hospitality Shop, Inc., a 501(c) (3) charitable organization for federal income tax purposes and an auxiliary entity supporting UTMB (11).