The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill last week to put seven state universities on a path to become research universities, reports The Star-Telegram.
The bill, passed 137-0, would provide matching funds to eligible universities to help them eventually obtain "tier one" status, as they reach certain goals in research funding and private donations.
The University of Texas at Arlington, the University of North Texas at Denton and the University of Texas at Dallas would be among the seven competing for the funds. The others are: Texas Tech University, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
The state money will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning that some universities that already have higher levels of research money and endowment portfolios would be positioned to more quickly achieve "tier one" status. Texas Tech and the University of Houston are considered the schools most likely to achieve tier one status first.