A recent flurry of activity in the state legislature regarding Tier One status for some of the state's leading universities, including UT Dallas, is kicking off the school year with an exciting start.
On July 23, the Texas Senate Subcommittees for Higher Education and Higher Education Finance invited comments from the leaders of Texas' seven emerging research universities. In a day-long discussion, they listened to each leader describe what his or her institution offers Texas as a potential Tier One university.
Texas currently has three Tier One schools: Rice, Texas A&M and UT Austin. Another seven schools, classified by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as emerging research universities, are Texas Tech, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, UT Arlington, UT Dallas, UT El Paso and UT San Antonio.
While there's no exact definition of what makes a university Tier One, a typical Tier One university is a doctoral-degree-granting research university with at least $100 million in annual research expenditures.
By many measures, UT Dallas is a strong contender on this short list of universities. We have highly productive research faculty, selective entrance standards for our students, and we're located in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, one of the largest urban centers in the country without a major research university.
Rather than arguing for just one school to receive this funding, President Daniel presented an incentive plan that would reward all seven universities based on their success with several factors key to Tier One status, namely research, scholarship, students and community support. The President's inclusive plan is receiving wide support from other university and state leaders.
I encourage you to follow what's happening on this issue. Infusing our state schools with the resources needed to reach Tier One is good for Texas, good for our city and good for UT Dallas as we create the future.
Erin Dougherty, '03 and '07
Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving
P.S. You can read President Daniel's proposed incentive plan on the Texas Senate's website.