The news slipped through, but its significance should not be understated. Three local schools have achieved “Tier One” designation in research spending: UT Arlington, the University of North Texas in Denton, and UT Dallas.
There’s more to do. Another marker of “Tier One” status is membership in the invitation-only Association of American Universities, which in Texas so far includes only UT Austin, Texas A&M and private Rice University.
Tier One status solves real issues: more gifted high school students will stay in the D/FW region—many choose to leave to attend Tier One colleges in other states. Increased Federal funding comes with the status, as does more local investment in students and companies.
Having one research school (like Austin’s UT) is great for the local economy. Having three in one metro area points to the scale and quality of education available—and to an exciting opportunity for growth.