State Paves Way for UH Tier One Status

The Texas Legislature has paved the way for the University of Houston to reach tier one status. Bill Stamps explains what a tier one university actually is and what it could mean for UH.
The University of Texas at Austin is a tier one, so is Texas A&M, but at this point, the University of Houston is not. If you attend UT, Georgetown, or universities like LSU and Ohio State, you may not be aware your school is tier one, but are you are aware of its prestige. UH President Dr. Renu Khator says one of the reason a school has prestige is because of all the things that make it tier one. But mostly it's research.

"Tier one designation means that you are a nationally competitive research university. And in order to do that, a state cannot designate you as tier one, it has to be achieved by you based on national objective criteria."

Tier one designation has been a goal of Dr. Khator's ever since taking the top job at UH. It could still take years but that goal became obtainable Monday after the Texas Legislature passed two bills that provide funding for top tier research. Doctor Khator says top tier is not about a label, its about being recognized nationally as a top institution.

"The criteria for which we have to work really hard is doubling our research expenditures. And in order to do that we have to really hire top quality students both graduate and undergraduate and then the top quality faculty."

There are more than 100 tier one universities nationwide. By the time UH does reach that elevated status today's middle school students will be the ones likely be enrolling.

Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.