The University of Texas at San Antonio has joined an elite class of colleges and universities.
UTSA recently was designated a Tier One school. Under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education program, Tier One is the highest possible level for academic and research excellence.
“The designation places UTSA among the nation’s top public and private research universities, amplifying its statewide and national exposure to attract and recruit world-class faculty and top students,” the university says in a news release.
Other Tier One schools in Texas are Baylor University, Rice University, Texas Tech University, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, and the UT campuses in Austin, Arlington, Dallas, and El Paso.
UTSA President Taylor Eighmy says San Antonio and the rest of Texas “deserve Tier One educational and research institutions to advance economic mobility and robust economic development driven by a knowledge economy.”
To achieve Tier One status, UTSA increased annual spending on research, expanded its pipeline of doctoral students, and sought national attention for its researchers.
UTSA is now one of about 20 U.S. universities that hold both Tier One designation and official status as schools serving Hispanic students.
“Tier One designation improves the degree value, increases choices for our students aiming to pursue graduate study at other now-peer university programs, creates stronger professional affiliations for our faculty, and elevates our stature in the national research community,” says Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at UTSA. “Simultaneously, the designation advances San Antonio’s knowledge pipeline by attracting additional talented faculty, who in turn further our local workforce.”
In addition, Tier One status helps encourage partnerships with local organizations like UT Health San Antonio, the Southwest Research Institute, the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Brooke Army Medical Center, and Joint Base San Antonio.
“In the next decade, UTSA will become a national model for student success, a great public research university, and an exemplar for strategic growth and innovative excellence,” Eighmy says. “The traction we’re seeing on multiple fronts — in athletics, fundraising, enrollment, academic innovation, and research — position us to serve as an exemplar for the future of higher education in the United States.”