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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-More Tier One schools desired

Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington

On Nov. 3, Texans will decide which if any of 11 propositions will be added to the 456 amendments already part of the Texas Constitution since its 1876 adoption.

Proposition 4 would establish a fund enabling emerging research universities to achieve national standing as major research, or Tier One, universities.

Currently, Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin are the only public schools that carry that distinction and would not receive funding under this proposition.

The proposal would transfer the balance of the higher education fund to a new National Research University Fund, which according to The Dallas Morning News, would be around $500 million.

Seven Texas universities, including Texas Tech, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas and branches of the University of Texas in Arlington, Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio, could receive these funds, provided that they meet five of seven criteria.

According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the criteria include maintaining qualified research spending of $45 million for two straight years, holding $400 million in endowments, awarding 200 doctoral degrees annually, hosting a Phi Beta Kappa chapter or holding membership in the Association of Research Libraries, enjoying high-achieving freshmen, obtaining high-quality faculty and possessing excellent graduate education.

Although no universities meet the criteria currently, Texas Tech and University of Houston are closest and could meet the criteria in the near future.

Texas loses more than 10,000 high school graduates to degree-granting institutions in other states, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

More Tier One universities would expand educational opportunities for students and keep more students in state, especially those in science, engineering and other professional occupations, creating a skilled workforce and allowing more economic diversity.

Texas could attract and retain more talent and obtain more research funding and capital investment.

Both houses of the Texas Legislature voted unanimously during its last session to place the amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Because funding is already available from an account established years ago, there would be no cost to taxpayers.

Proposition 4 would create more opportunities for Texas students, keep more students within the state and ensure the future of Texas universities.

Vote for Proposition 4.

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