Summary: Job One? Tier 1
It's tough slogging, but keeping Austin focused on UH process is vital to Houston.
Sept. 3, 2010, 8:08PM
It can't be much fun being a leader of one of the seven Texas public universities chasing funding from the Texas
Legislature to achieve higher education's version of nirvana -- Tier 1 status.
It's been hot. There's no money in Austin. And state lawmakers aren't in a generous, giving mood.
So, our sympathies to all concerned, but especially to UH Chancellor and President Renu Khator, the leader of our
home team in this high-stakes game. It's tough slogging.
Tier 1 status is important. It means being numbered among the nation's top research universities. Tier 1
institutions are centers for scholarly innovation, cutting edge research and federal and private funding.
For some time now, state leadership has recognized the need to perhaps double the number of Tier 1 institutions
in Texas. Alas, that's a process that can - and likely will - take years.
For UH and Houston, it's important to keep the momentum building. Achieving Tier 1 status for UH may be the
single most consequential step we can take to ensure a prosperous future for this region. To glimpse the
possibilities, one need only look at what UT has done for Austin over the years. Tier 1 status for UT has helped
shape Austin into a magnet for high-tech industry and the high-paying jobs and healthy tax base that come with
that. We'd like a helping of that in Houston, too, thank you. Bringing UH into the Tier 1 ranks is the surest way
Currently, Texas has three Tier 1 universities: UT-Austin, Texas A&M and Rice. That's not enough. By comparison,