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State June 8, 2011 //  by  // Comments

Texas Legislature passes House Bill 1000

The bill, which will award the University an estimated $20 million, awaits Rick Perry’s signature to become official.  | Ed Schipul/Wikimedia Commons

The bill, which will award the University an estimated $20 million, awaits Rick Perry’s signature to become official. | Ed Schipul/Wikimedia Commons

A bill that will aid UH and other Texas universities on their path to Tier One status was approved by the Texas Legislature and is waiting for Gov. Rick Perry’s signature.

House Bill 1000 will give UH a sum of around $20 million to fund both academics and various research programs.

“This is a great day for the state of Texas as a whole, the University of Houston and for education in the state of Texas,” said Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston.

“HB 1000 will likely provide the University of Houston nearly $20 million to make help them cross the finish line and become a nationally recognized Tier One institution.”

Texas currently has three Tier One universities — the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M and Rice, the same number it had decades ago, according to Ellis.

“Texas has become a leader in scientific research and technology, but our investment in our institutions has lagged far, far beyond the demand and need for world-class universities,” Ellis said. “HB 1000 dedicates more funding to higher education and prepares Texas for a brighter future.”

Texas recently created the National Research University Fund which aims to generate funding to increase the number of Tier One universities. Approximately $600 million is available and will be distributed to universities that qualify.

Three universities being focused on at the moment include UH, Texas Tech, and the University of Texas at Dallas, according to a press release from the Texas Senate written by Jeremy Warren.

“UH will be able to enhance the quality of student education, attract and retain more high-quality faculty, use state appropriations as leverage for greater federal research support, increase technology transfer to the private sector, attract new companies and industries to the Houston area, and produce spin-off companies,” UH President Renu Khator said in a campus-wide email. “This is truly a milestone and an occasion for celebration. I look forward, as I hope you do, to what we can accomplish together in the future.”

“I am particularly grateful for the leadership of Senator Rodney Ellis, who co-sponsored the bill in the Senate, and Representatives Garnet Coleman and Bill Callegari, who co-sponsored legislation in the House of Representatives,” Khator said. “Additionally, this landmark legislation benefited from the enthusiastic endorsement of the Greater Houston Partnership, many local and civic leaders and thousands of loyal alumni.”

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