Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Texas Needs More Tier 1 Universities

I've mentioned before that New York City has several Tier One Universities. Let's compare universities:

Just New York City:
Columbia University: Reading SAT 660-760 Math SAT 670-780
Barnard College: Reading SAT 640-740 Math SAT 620-700
Cooper Union: Reading SAT 610-700 Math SAT 640-770

The whole state of Texas:
Texas A&M: Reading SAT 520-630 Math SAT 560-670
University of Texas, Austin: Reading SAT 540-670 Math SAT 570-700
Rice University: Reading SAT 640-750 Math SAT 670-780

So it takes the entire state of Texas to match just New York City for universities. This article from the Star-Telegram, "Public universities in North Texas should work together on Tier 1 status," by Mike Norman, says New York State has 7 Tier One universities and California has 9 Tier One universities to our 3 Tier One Universities.

US Census numbers (2006) say New York State had (2006) 19,306,183 people, California had 36,457,549 and Texas had 23,507,783, an number between California and New York State. So Texas should have 8 Tier One universities, not just 3.

Dallas / Fort Worth

We need a Tier One university in the DFW Metroplex, probably two or three. The DFW University Project plans to make this happen.

If our children are to have a future, we must wrestle control of America away from the incompetents in New York City and Wall Street. Developing our universities must be a part of the program.

U.T. Dallas: Reading SAT 540-670 Math SAT 580-690
U.T. Dallas compares well with U.T. Austin
U.T. Arlington and the University of North Texas do not compare as well to U.T. Austin.
The DFW metroplex needs to improve the quality of its schools for U.T. Arlington and U.N.T. to improve their SAT scores.

Eventually, it would be nice if all 3 became Tier One universities.
They should all move in that direction. It appears as though U.T.D. is moving in that direction.

Tier One Universities & Parents

When you listen to the university presidents speak about becoming a tier one university, you will hear them discuss research and budgets. But if you ask parents to discuss a First Tier university, they will pull out their copy of America's Best Colleges, published by U.S. News and World Report.

There you will find Columbia ranked 6th in the nation, U.T. Austin ranked 47th, and Texas A&M ranked 64th in the nation. The list lumps the top 130 universities into one list that represents 1st tier and 2nd tier universities, without drawing the line between them. Next come buckets called 3rd tier and 4th tier. U.T. Dallas and Texas Tech are both in the 3rd tier bucket even though the SAT scores of U.T. Dallas are much higher than at Texas Tech.

We can say then that U.T. Dallas has a student body comparable to 1st tier schools in Texas, but the 1st tier public universities in Texas still lag the 1st tier private universities in New York City.

Tier One Universities & Culture

A university's ranking in the U.S. News and World Report college lists is influenced by the reputation of the university. The historic and cultural contributions of a university and its graduates affect the reputation of the university.

The students at U.T. Dallas are just as accomplished as the students at U.T. Austin, so why does U.T. Austin have a better reputation? How can U.T. Dallas improve its reputation? If we doubled the budget at U.T. Dallas overnight, it's reputation would not double overnight, so what will it take to improve the reputation of U.T. Dallas? That will have to be the topic of another blog entry.

Robert Canright

PS: Here is what the President of UTD has to say about Tier One Universities.
Here is a podcast on Tier One Universities, it is the Think Program on KERA radio, hosted by Krys Boyd (October 29, 2008).

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