Saturday, September 19, 2009

Texas Tier One University Project

Texas needs more Tier One universities. We do not compare well against New York and California.

Texas is one of the most populous states in the Union. Here are the top three, compared by Electoral College votes.

California: 55 Electoral votes
Texas: 34 Electoral votes
New York: 31 Electoral votes

New York and California each have more Tier One Universities than Texas. Below is the count, from a report by David Daniel to the Texas State Senate.

California: 9 Tier One universities
Texas: 3 Tier One universities
New York: 7 Tier One universities

Using the electoral votes as a representation of population, I set up and solved these problems with my son: Based on the ratio of electoral votes, and comparing Texas to the number of Tier One universities in California and New York, how many Tier One universities should Texas have?

Compared to California: x/9 = 34/55, which is solved for 5.5 Tier One universities.
Compared to New York: x/7 = 34/31, which is solved for 7.7 Tier One universities.

Texas has 3 Tier One Universities, but we should have between 5 and 8. The DFW area definitely needs a Tier One university for economic and political development. When visiting campuses, I was very impressed with Texas Tech University and was surprised it was not a Tier One university. The State of Texas has recognized a need for more Tier One universities and has a plan to provide more money. There is an excellent article by Holly Hacker in the Dallas Morning News, Friday April 24, 2009: "7 Texas universities hoping to join 'tier one' face long battle." Here is another good article from Lubbock Online: "Tech's tier-one bill not killed by chubbing" by Enrique Rangel, Thursday, May 28, 2009.

But what is a Tier One university? The article by Holly Hacker discusses this, and here is a link to WikiAnswers on "What is a tier one university?" Money is part of the answer, but prestige and influence are the major factors. We should want more Tier One universities in order to generate more wealth and influence for the State of Texas.

I have been parochial in the past, focusing mostly on the need for a Tier One university in the DFW metroplex, but I recognize the importance of adding more than one Tier One school to the existing three. Texas needs to add between 2 and 5 more Tier One schools to lift the total to the range of 5 to 8. This defines a Texas Tier One University Project.

I am happy and encouraged to see the Texas State Legislature has already recognized the importance of having more Tier One Universities in Texas (a link to the legislation is provided in the references). We all need to be supportive of this effort.

From Holly Hacker's article, here is the list of 7 schools considered candidates for Tier One:
  1. The University of North Texas in Denton
  2. UT-Arlington
  3. UT-Dallas
  4. UT-El Paso
  5. UT-San Antonio
  6. The University of Houston
  7. Texas Tech in Lubbock
There might not be enough resources for all 7 schools to become Tier One schools, so remember to support the schools of your choice.

Robert Canright

References

Related posts:
Texas, New York, and Universities Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Texas Needs More Tier 1 Universities Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Why UT Dallas Should Be Tier One Saturday, January 17, 2009

Here is a link to HR 51, session 81(R). The bill was written by RepresentativeDan Branch of Dallas, et al, and sponsored by State Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo).

List of Projects

The Texas Ascendancy Campaign has three major divisions: the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance (TBAR), the Texas Leadership Revolution (TLR), and Education. You can view a high level diagram of the Texas Ascendant Campaign.

Below is a list of the projects comprising the Texas Ascendant Campaign. You can go to the top of the Blogger page, paste in the name of the project, click on the "Search Blog" button, and see all the posts on that project.

A project might contribute to more than one aspect of the Texas Ascendancy Campaign. The Cicero Project, for example, has both political and business interests. The Cicero Project can also be viewed as a part of the Education aspect of the Texas Ascendancy Campaign.

List of Projects
History Project
Cicero Project
Texas Banking and Finance Project
Economics Project
Industrialization Project
Billionaire Project
Trust Texas Project
Texas Journalism Project
Texas Diplomacy Project
Texas Democracy Project
Texas Entrepreneurship Project
Texas Publishing Project
Texas Software Initiative
The Texas Software Product Development Project
Texas Software Reliability Project 
Special Methods Software Project 
Speech Writing Project
DFW University Project
Texas Tier One University Project
Jefferson Project
Classics Project
Classics Animated Project

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Industrialization in Texas: the Italian Model

I first discussed the Texas Industrialization Project back in July. Industrialization is important for Texas because industry provides jobs. Texas needs to plan for economic growth, and if the State of Texas will not do it, then it is up to the cities to do it.

I do not picture Plano, Texas, becoming thick with heavy industry, but it could become part of a web of small scale industries that spans the communities of Frisco, McKinney, Richardson, and Lewisville.

Francis Fukuyama, in Chapter 10 of his book, Trust, describes how central Italy in the 1970's and 1980's exploded economically "with the emergence of networks of small businesses making everything textiles and designer clothes to machine tools and industrial robots." He goes on to say, "Some enthusiasts of small-scale industrialization have argued that the Italian model represents and entirely new paradigm of industrial production, one that can be exported to other countries."

If the Italians can do this, then we can do the same if we have the will-power to do so.

He says, "Italy is the world's third-largest producer of industrial robots, and yet a third of that industry's output is produced by enterprises with fewer than fifty employees." Smaller companies are easier to capitalize, meaning smaller start-up costs.

Smaller costs means the cities and counties could do this kind of industrial planning without waiting for leadership at the state level.

These small companies in Italy could compete internationally because they could respond to changes quickly. They could compete against the giants of world industry because, "they specialized in machine tools, ceramics, apparel, design, and other activities that do not reward large scale."

We have enough talent in North Texas that we can compete internationally. We need to think for ourselves and work for our prosperity if our children are to have a future.

We need an Industrialization Plan and the Italian model could be a part of it.

Robert Canright

Reference:
Trust, The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, by Francis Fukuyama, New York: The Free Press, 1995