Campus reacts to Tier One announcement
The campus was bustling this week with the announcement that UH cleared the first of three hurdles in being deemed a flagship university.
On Tuesday, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching labeled UH as a research university with “very high research activity.” This classification is one of three that qualifies an institution as being in the top tier of universities.
UH administration setup a website for the community to share thoughts on the news. Eric Bittner, a UH John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Chemical Physics, took to the site to comment that although the label of Tier One is nice, this news is more than just a label.
“Taken by itself, ‘Tier One’ is a simply a badge, a label, and wearing red on Friday. However, ‘Tier One’ is really an attitude,” Bittner said in an email. “(UH) had that attitude well before this list was produced.
“It’s an attitude that, as a community, we want this University to be a center of excellence, a center of scholarly inquiry at the highest level, and a place where tomorrow’s technology is being discovered today.”
Bittner credits the new designation to years of hard work, and sees it as beneficial to everyone on campus.
“Having a ‘Tier One’ status would mean that the brightest and best scholars across the US and from around the world will be attracted to UH,” Bittner said. “This produces a critical feedback mechanism since good scholars and students attract more and more good students.”
Biology freshman Parsa Baktash agrees the designation will make UH more attractive to prospective students.
“My friends that are in high school always brag and boast about UT and A&M, since they are Tier One schools, but never really talked about UH because it didn’t seem prestigious enough for them,” Baktash said. “But, with the recent news, I don’t think they will see it that way anymore.”
Baktash thinks the designation will pave the way for even greater things in the future.
“We are all a part of something big here, and we can graduate knowing our hard work gave us a degree from a Tier One institution,” Baktash said. “I already have a lot of pride for our school as it is, and this gives me even more of a reason to be proud.”
UH alumni have also taken note of the announcement, expressing excitement and asking what can be done to continue the momentum.
“(The announcement) is an invigorating shot to the arm,” Mike Pede, president of the UH Alumni Association said. “Most thought it was going to take much longer.”
The association has always been supportive of the administration’s goals, Pede said, and is looking towards full flagship status down the road.
”This is the first step on the road to Tier One, and there are a few more steps to take.”
According to a UH news release, the Carnegie classification is “commonly regarded to be one of three indicators that reflect an institution’s rank as a Tier One institution.”
In its next steps, UH is looking to the University’s ranking in the Top American Research University (TARU) report from the Center for Measuring University Performance.
The final indication that UH has achieved full Tier One status will be membership into the Association of American Universities, which is by invitation only.