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


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).

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