A report by a surgeon hired by the hospital to review its transplant program called it "baffling" that the nurse would accidentally put the viable kidney with medical waste, but found no problems with the systems or the culture at the hospital that would have indicated it was at risk for such a mistake.
Another report conducted by the state for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said poor oversight and communication, and insufficient policies were factors in the kidney's disposal.
UTMC has performed about 1,700 kidney transplants in the past 40 years, with a 98 percent success rate.
Kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organ. More than 5,700 kidney transplants involving living donors and 11,000 with deceased donors were performed last year in the U.S. UTMC performed 16 of those living-donor kidney transplants and 37 deceased-donor transplants in 2011.
"This is very much a signature program of our university," Gold said.
UT President Lloyd Jacobs said teaching hospitals such as UTMC "have an obligation to share what happened with the medical community so we can all learn and improve."