Presidents to Discuss Need for Tier One Universities

KERA-FM Talk Show ‘Think’ to Solicit Higher Education Leaders’ Views

Oct. 28, 2008

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, radio and Internet listeners of the popular KERA program Think will have a rare opportunity to hear three sitting university presidents discuss the need for more Tier 1 research universities in Texas, and specifically in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.


Broadcast of KERA-FM discussion featuring UT Dallas President David E. Daniel (Download MP3 file)

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For more on the Tier One issue, see the president's What is Tier One? Web page.

Presidents David E. Daniel, James (Jim) Spaniolo and Gretchen M. Bataille, of UT Dallas, UT Arlington and the University of North Texas, respectively, will be guests on the popular program from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29. They will answer questions from host Krys Boyd and from listeners during a live broadcast from the KERA studios in Dallas.

In recent months, the topic of Tier 1 has been the subject of numerous newspaper editorials and other news reports across the state. Although these presidents have each spoken individually before state and legislative panels about the need for more Tier 1 universities, they have never sat together in the same room and pressed the issue so publicly.

Daniel’s proposal to establish more top-tier research universities has generated broad interest and discussion about the need for more top research universities in Texas. He believes that universities in Texas should compete for state funds and the honor of flagship status. Under his plan, the Texas Legislature would set aside up to $210 million a year and the schools that aspire to Tier 1 and raise the most money from private and community sources would get the largest shares of the money.

Though there is no universally agreed-upon definition for Tier 1, many believe the status equates to more than $100 million in research expenditures, membership in the Association of American Universities, faculty honors, and students’ performance in both high school and university admission tests. Other criteria proposed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board suggest research expenditures should be at least $150 million annually.

Currently, Rice University, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin are the state’s only Tier 1 schools. Other states have multiple flagship schools, with California at nine, New York with seven and Pennsylvania with four.

Think covers a wide variety of topics ranging from history, politics, current events, science, technology and emerging trends to food and wine, travel, adventure and entertainment. The program is broadcast from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday on 90.1 FM and may also be heard live at

Media Contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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University Leaders

Dr. David E. Daniel

Dr. David E. Daniel
is the fourth president of The University of Texas at Dallas.

Gretchen M. Bataille is the 14th president of the University of North Texas.

James D. (Jim) Spaniolo is the seventh president of UT Arlington.

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April 22, 2018