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Friday, September 29, 2023


Possible merger could affect UH

Although the Cougars’ victory over Texas Tech is certain to give UH an image boost, a possible merger between the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas Health Science Center could make the race for flagship status more competitive for universities like UH.

‘ ‘UTSA is actively working on several fronts to achieve (flagship) status,’ UTSA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Frederick said.’

‘We view the present competition among the seven emerging research institutions in Texas as a healthy development in our state,’ Frederick said. ‘We believe that competition will play an important role in improving education at all levels for the students of Texas.’

Proposition 4, which will be voted on in November, would fund various Texas schools deemed to be emerging research universities.

Institutions like UH and UTSA are working to strengthen multiple academic fields.

‘ ‘We are focusing our efforts on becoming excellent in five distinct areas: health, security, energy and environment, sustainability, and human and social development,’ Frederick said.’

Some schools are considering strategic alliances to help attain flagship status.

UTHSC-SA offers health-related degree programs and joint programs such as MPH/MBA.’

The San Antonio Life Sciences Institute is a joint operation of UTSA and UTHSC-SA to support fundamental research in the basic medical sciences.

‘We are actively involved in making this a better institution, and one that serves the educational, discovery, and economic development needs,’ Frederick said. ‘We contribute over $1.2 billion to the local economy of San Antonio and South Texas.

‘We believe that we will achieve national research university status by building a strong foundation for a top university, engaging community partners, and instilling a culture of excellence and continual improvement.’

UTSA is focusing on recruiting faculty members and students, along with making renovations.

‘Each year, our incoming freshman class is not only larger than the year before, but better,’ Frederick said. ‘It may be of interest to your readers that, after Bexar County, Harris County is the next largest source of students at UTSA.

‘We have just completed construction on an $82 million Applied Engineering and Technology building and are in the process of renovating extensive research laboratory spaces in support of science and engineering research projects.’

UH recently announced plans to build Energy Research Park in another step toward consideration to be a flagship school.’

As the race toward flagship status tightens across the state, UH President Renu Khator is keeping her eyes on the prize.

‘UH continues to focus on enhancing our strengths across all disciplines,’ she said.

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