‘Best and brightest’ could be drawn to UTSA’s new Tier One status

The announcement last week that the University of Texas at San Antonio had earned the coveted Carnegie Tier One status was in response to the university’s level of research activity and the number of doctoral degrees awarded.

“It makes us a public research-intensive institution with societal impact,” said Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA vice president of research, economic development and knowledge enterprise.

Arulanandam said, over the last five years, research expenditures have steadily increased by 106%, from $68 million in FY 2017 to $140 million in FY 2021.

In addition, Arulanadam said, UTSA faculty received more than 300 funding grants in five years. He also said the university’s enrollment in the doctoral program had increased by nearly 20%, and last year, 153 doctoral degrees were awarded.

UTSA is among only about 20 campuses nationally that are Hispanic serving institutions and have Tier One status.

“It really shows the caliber of a faculty, world-class, the caliber of our great students,” Arulanandam said.

Arulanandam said many of UTSA’s students are the first generation in their families to attend an institution of higher learning.

By going to a Tier One university “in their own backyard”, he said students would have the opportunities they need to reach their career goals.

“They don’t have to look elsewhere,” he said.

Arulanandam said Tier One also produces a highly talented workforce for San Antonio.

“It also increases our overall economic competitiveness,” he said.

Joanne Turner, PhD, executive vice president for research at Texas Biomedical Research Institute, issued the following statement regarding UTSA’s Tier 1 status:

“The Tier 1 designation applies to UTSA, but it benefits everyone in the region currently connected to the biosciences. Having a local university in this category elevates our city and shows a solid and serious commitment to high-quality research. Texas Biomed already has several key partnerships with UTSA and this will allow those to expand and strengthen. The more partnerships we build, the better our overall reputation becomes – which can really help in our shared goal of continuing to recruit top scientists to the city.

“UTSA has been building a robust teaching and research portfolio over the last several years and has demonstrated 20 percent growth in its doctoral program. This award reflects and recognizes those investments. We at Texas Biomed are excited about the continued collaborative efforts that will leverage even more connections and grow the San Antonio economy.”