The University of Houston has added the strength and backing of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) to its case to become a Top Tier research institution, as the GHP's Board of Directors Wednesday voted unanimously to support the effort.
As a result of the vote, the GHP will amend language in its 81st Session Texas Legislative Agenda to reflect the organization's support for designating the University of Houston as Texas' next top-tier university, said Christina Garza, manager of media relations for the GHP. This adds to existing language in the GHP's agenda that states "We support a competitive funding process to enable the seven universities grouped statewide, which includes the University of Houston, under the emerging designation, to achieve National Research University status."
"We are pleased to have the cooperation and support of an organization such as the Greater Houston Partnership, which represents leaders of the business community of the city of Houston and the surrounding region," said UH President Renu Khator.
"We are focused every day on educating and developing the leaders of tomorrow. We fully recognize that we need the entire community behind us to achieve our goal of attaining Top Tier status. This is an important step in that direction."
GHP's support for UH builds upon the momentum UH has established among local business leaders and politicians, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who declared UH as "a great selection for a Tier One university" at the recent investiture ceremony of Khator.
Texas has three Tier One universities: the University of Texas at Austin; Texas A&M University; and Rice University, a small private university with about 5,000 students.
UH, which has more than 36,000 students at its central campus, is one of seven Texas public universities seeking Top Tier designation, and money, from the state. A report released today underscores the need for additional Top Tier universities in Texas. The report by the National Center on Public Policy and Higher Education cited the lack of an educated workforce as a significant threat to the Texas economy. Texas needs more Top Tier universities to educate and train skilled workers and develop solutions to statewide problems through research.
"Providing an affordable education to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity for higher education has been this university's mission from the very beginning," Khator said. "We are well positioned and ready to serve this state as a Top Tier university."
The GHP was founded in 1989 as a merger of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, the Houston Economic Development Council and the Houston World Trade Center. A private, nonprofit organization, the GHP is the primary advocate of Houston's business community and dedicated to building regional economic prosperity.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students.