The University of Houston Magazine

Message from the Regents

Andrew Cobos It's just about impossible to visit the University of Houston campus without being exposed to the idea of Tier One.

This goal – our goal – has been more than a snappy slogan to put on T-shirts. Tier One serves as an identity that has united students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni and the community. As both a UH graduate student and a member of the Board of Regents, I have been an eyewitness to the Tier One excitement building on campus.

Now, UH has actually earned a Tier One classification from the prestigious Carnegie Foundation. This Carnegie distinction, which you can read about on page 3, just makes official something I have believed for some time now.

We are Tier One!

Tier One excellence has been reflected in our faculty and staff through their continuing dedication to student and academic success. While many people have noticed that our research awards have reached a record $114 million, they might not realize the impact that many of our outstanding professors have had on a personal level. Professors like Bill Alexander, Ronald Turner and Gavin Clarkson aren’t simply my teachers, they are my mentors. Many other excellent professors, administrators and staff members have shaped my education at UH into an extraordinary experience – they are Tier One! And my own experience is by no means unique. It has been repeated many times over among my Cougar classmates.

Tier One is reflected in our alumni and community, as can be seen in the level of private giving to the university that has reached a record high of $102 million. This generosity has helped fund additional scholarships and has resulted in better facilities, classrooms, labs and dorms. I get fired up when I drive south along Interstate-45 and see the giant UH flag flapping in the wind. This flag has come to symbolize our responsibility to the community and their support of our effort – they are Tier One!

Finally, Tier One also is reflected in our students. When I walk into the refurbished Moody Towers dining hall on Fridays and see everyone wearing red Cougar shirts, I get chills. Moreover, the call of “Coooooog’s House” at sporting events reminds me that our students support our teams, and our university supports our students – they are Tier One!

In this issue’s annual report, you will find a good deal of information that documents our progress toward achieving Tier One status. I urge you to read this with the understanding that these facts, while impressive, cannot completely communicate the mentorship of our outstanding professors, the spirit of the community, or the rallying cry of our student body. The Carnegie Foundation has confirmed what many of us already knew ... we are Tier One!


Andrew Cobos
UH System Board of Regents