UH's "Tier One" Talk Gets a Little More Legitimate

Categories: Education

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UH: We're (kinda) Tier One!
Just as Houston officials throw around "world-class city" ad nauseam, boosters of the University of Houston throw "Tier One University" into every other sentence, it seems.

The mysterious and vague "Tier One" description is reserved for the nation's elite schools; Rice, UT and A&M have it, and the Texas legislature is divvying up fast-disappearing higher ed funds among a handful of the state's other schools, letting them try to reach that exalted status.

UH got a step up in that competition today. The Carnegie Foundation issued its revised rankings of schools and decided UH is in their Top Tier, at least.

"I am so happy and so proud," UH President Renu Khator said. "Our students -- who today begin a new semester with this incredible news -- can say with pride they are getting a Tier One education. They will finally be able to take their diplomas and say, 'I have graduated from a Carnegie Tier One university.'"

UH plans to hold a ceremony celebrating the announcement, for crying out loud, later this month.

The Carnegie designation doesn't mean UH is what everyone considers a Tier One school, but it is a component of that informal assessment. Other factors include research budgets, graduation rates (where UH falls most short) and declarations by other educational groups.

UH has a broader interpretation of when a school can be declared to be in Tier One:

Within the academic community, the Carnegie classification is commonly regarded to be one of three indicators that reflect an institution's rank as a Tier One institution. The other two are its rank in the Center for Measuring University Performance's Top American Research University (TARU) reports and membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU). Recognition by any of these three is generally taken as an indication of Tier One status.

Others might not agree. Still, the Carnegie announcement is a positive step forward.

"I give the credit to our faculty, our staff, our students and our Board of Regents who have been so supportive the last two or three years," Khator said. "But, at the end of the day, great communities build great universities. It is a compliment to the city and the state and to our fabulous delegation members, our legislative leaders who believed this was an important initiative."


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7 comments
yeah, you
yeah, you

"Others might not agree." Like who? You? Connelly never skips an opportunity to insert a douchey commentary without reference. Just say you don't agree or track down the "others" for some context. Thanks.

Craig
Craig

Such a sad commentary that this state only has two T1 schools.

Rice is indeed T1 but no need to give the state of Texas any credit for their success. UH will have to earn it on their own just like Rice did. It's the Houston way.

All the PUF money A&M and UT get has been a sorry return on investment. Neither school are even in the Top 50 nationally.

Brian Hansen
Brian Hansen

i dont' agree that Tier One is all it's cracked up to be.  tell me how much the school spends on research and how much it spends on marketing Tier One, and then tell me this is a good news story.  (it's about a 120 to 90 million dollar ratio.)  that's right, we spend 90 million dollars so that maybe some day we can bump our federal research grants up from 50 million to ....60?  do we even want federal handouts in this conservative city?  apparently we want them so bad that we will do anything for them, including making a university about expansion instead of education.

Oscar
Oscar

Right? It really shows the "quality" of his journalism.

Brian Hansen
Brian Hansen

the only thing that is sad is that the school spends 90 million dollars in 2010 marketing Tier One and all we get is recognition from the carnegie foundation - something that even professors subtley say doesn't matter in UH Pride Propaganda videos.

Luke
Luke

Not exactly. Texas is 45 in U.S. News' 2011 rankings.

Craig
Craig

It's still a sorry ROI.

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