Focus Friday: UT Houston campus expansion
Happy new semester. For this week’s Focus Friday, we discuss the University of Texas’ new expansion plans for a Houston campus.
1. Should UT be allowed to open a Houston campus?
Opinion editor Anthony Torres: Absolutely not. UT is the biggest school in Texas with multiple campuses across the state. It also receives a lot more state funding than UH. This is like a Wal-Mart opening down the street from a mom-and-pop store. Not to say this will necessarily mean the end of UH, but the reputation of UH was built from scratch and it still has challenges to face. UT already has a sterling reputation and building a campus here would exacerbate the challenges UH already has.
Opinion columnist Samuel Pichowsky: It should be able to open a Houston campus. The University of Houston should welcome competition on its turf, and this gives our campus an opportunity to prove itself as a Tier One school. We have a great academic department, a great body of students, and we have a great football team. Let us prove that we can be the number one campus in Houston.
Opinion columnist Krishna Narra: I don’t think it would be in UT’s best interest to establish a campus in Houston because UH is a well-established campus and definitely unique to Houston. However, I think UT should be allowed to establish a campus if it wants to. UH is a phenomenal campus and there is no way UT can establish a campus here and expect it to run anywhere as smoothly as UH will. But at the same time, a new campus might be good for the city of Houston, as more options are available and it could make the city more attractive and more developed.
2. Is UT using it’s prestige to bully UH?
AT: It seems like it. It already has multiple medical schools in Houston, and Houston already has multiple colleges spread throughout the area. UT completely surpassed the Texas House Higher Education Committee when it’s supposed to get its approval in the first place. It’s invading the University of Houston’s space. It also seems too convenient that just as UH is gaining traction, becoming a bigger school and gaining all these national acknowledgements, UT decides to build a campus in Houston.
SP: UT is not using its prestige to bully the University of Houston. If anything, it is causing more of a challenge to itself. Opening a campus on our turf would only invite more competition from us, not the other way around. We have already proven that we are the top school in the city. We have already establish our greatness. There is no need for us to feel bullied.
KN: I don’t think UT is “bullying” UH with its prestige. If anything, it is undermining the capacity and capability of UH. If UT decides to establish a campus, this would only be bad for UT because it won’t be able to compete with UH. Our campus keeps improving, and it does so rapidly. UT may be more self-assured because of its prestige, but UH is self-assured because of its caliber. Even if a UT Houston campus is established, the only university that would come to mind when someone mentions Houston, would be the University of Houston.
-The Cougar Opinion Desk