The University of Texas at Dallas
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Featured Stories
The Viewpoint
Director's Corner
Around Campus
Event Calendar
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Sports Report
Class Notes
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UTD Mercury
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Director's Corner

After being in my position for about a month and a half, I have had the opportunity to talk to a number of alumni who have shared their perspective and experiences here at UT Dallas. One question that has come up concerns rankings and Tier 1 status. A common question I am asked is "What is this Tier 1 status we keep hearing about and why is it important"? Many of the alumni I have spoken with have heard this statement but have not been clear on exactly what it means and how they can help.

Top Tier or Tier 1 status is a phrase commonly used in higher education to describe a university that competes well in a number of areas. For UT Dallas, a primary indicator of Tier 1 status will be reaching $100 million in research expenditures annually. Currently, the university is at $36 million.

Another Tier 1 indicator is the university's ranking in U.S. News and World Reportís survey. The rankings are based on indicators of academic quality, graduation rates, research funding, and a number of other factors, among them how our individual programs and schools are ranked.

As you may have read in recent editions of LINK, both the engineering school and the management school have recently moved up in national rankings. UT Dallas performs relatively well in its graduation rates: a recent UT System news release reported that UT Dallas' graduation rates have exceeded the national average rate of 53 percent over a six year period (UT System News Release, May, 2007). This is very exciting because higher graduation rates translate into more degreed alumni whose achievments reflect well on UT Dallas.

Among the factors that figure in attaining Tier 1 status is one you have the means to influence very directly--the average alumni giving rate. The U.S. News survey considers the number of alumni who make a gift as a percentage of our overall alumni group. That percentage is called a participation rate, and it is treated as a measure of overall alumni satisfaction in the formula applied to determine UT Dallas' ranking. US News views your willingness to make a donation at any level as an indicator of your satisfaction with your experience at UT Dallas.

Showing your support in a financial way makes a critical difference to the overall success of the University. When you make the decision to support UT Dallas you are sending a clear message that you value your experience here and that you support the success of the University going forward. Help us move higher in the rankings and show your support by making a gift today. You can make a difference!

Kristin Ludwig, Ph.D.
Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

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