e-Conversation. the newsletter of the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas

Giving Notes


An Opportunity to Accelerate UT Dallas' Advance to Tier One

Gov. Rick Perry signs bill
Governor Rick Perry signs House Bill 51 as legislators look on.

On June 17, 2009, UT Dallas served as the venue for the signing of the “Tier One bill” into law. This landmark legislation creates state matching funds for gifts directed to purposes that support the development of more national research universities in Texas.

Seven institutions, designated as “Emerging Research Universities,” are eligible for these funds:

  • UT Arlington
  • UT Dallas
  • UT El Paso
  • UT San Antonio
  • Texas Tech
  • University of Houston
  • University of North Texas

The TRIP fund will receive $50 million for the biennium, with $25 million available for matching funds over each of the next two years. It is expected that beginning September 1, 2009, cash gifts received will be eligible for state matching funds according to the following gift ranges below.

  • 50% Match Cash gift of $100,000 to $999,999
  • 75% Match Cash gift of $1 million to $1,999,999
  • 100% Match Cash gift of $2 million to $10 million

Gift Criteria

Only gifts made to support research will be eligible for TRIP matching funds. According to the new Tier One law, the following categories of gifts will be eligible:

“...a gift or endowment for endowed chairs, professorships, facilities, equipment, program costs, or graduate stipends or fellowships...”

Further Rules and Management of TRIP Funds

More details will be forthcoming this summer from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) regarding the process of awarding matching funds and other policies which the participating institutions must follow.

Additional Legislation

A second component of this effort to build more Tier One universities in Texas is a proposed constitutional amendment to “repurpose” an existing state endowment which holds assets of more than $400 million. The repurposing of this Higher Education Fund, which would have to be approved by voters in the upcoming November elections, would result in these funds being designated to a new National Research University Fund.

Income from this endowment would be made available to the seven Emerging Research Universities, but only after they meet or exceed several key benchmarks of research productivity. Foremost among these benchmarks is a requirement to achieve a minimum of $45 million in restricted research expenditures for two consecutive years. UT Dallas is currently among the leaders in this category with approximately $40 million in restricted research expenditures.

The Opportunity to Advance UT Dallas

The matching funds available through TRIP provide UT Dallas with a timely and time-sensitive opportunity to advance toward its goal of becoming the next national research university in Texas. By establishing more endowed faculty positions and graduate fellowships, and enhancing research facilities and programs, UT Dallas can bolster its research capacity and advance more quickly toward the $45 million in restricted research expenditures required to access the National Research University Fund.

More about Tier One

To learn more about the Tier One initiative, visit this UT Dallas website:


Already, supporters of the School of Arts and Humanities are making gifts to the School to take advantage of the matching funds. Funding must be received by September 1, 2009.

For more information on having your gifts matched and taking advantage of this unique opportunity, please contact Mary Brouillette, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at