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Texas Bill to Put 7 Schools on Path to Become Research Universities
Press Release

May, 2009

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.

The phrase "tier one," while not officially defined, is understood to mean universities that spend at least $100 million annually on research and have a certain percentage of faculty members with doctoral degrees. Texas now has two public tier-one schools—the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University at College Station—and one private tier-one school, Rice University in Houston.

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