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About Tier One Business and Civil Leaders

We're making the case for the University of Texas at San Antonio to become a Tier One university, but we are not the only ones.


Joe Straus

Joe Straus Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives

"I am proud that the Texas Legislature took bold and creative steps to ensure that our state universities are among the best in the nation. This new collaborative approach will provide the necessary framework for our emerging research institutions to move toward Tier One status. Our own UTSA will be well positioned to become one of these nationally recognized institutions and continue to make San Antonio proud."

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Leticia Van de Putte

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte Senate District 26

"In a 21st century economy, our student's ability to compete in the global marketplace will be contingent on creating environments where research and innovation can flourish. We must seize this extraordinary opportunity for UTSA to become a premiere national research institution."

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Joaquin Castro

State Representative Joaquin Castro Vice Chair of the House Higher Education Committee

"In Texas, we have committed to expanding our educational infrastructure by giving emerging research universities the opportunity to achieve Tier One status. I have seen how Tier One universities mold and shape the economy and culture of their region. There is no doubt that UTSA has the potential to create the same kind of impact in San Antonio and Texas. Given UTSA’s recent hires of internationally acclaimed faculty (like Dr. Les Shephard in energy and sustainability and Dr. Ravi Sandhu in cyber security), their growth in doctoral programs, and their expansion of partnerships with the inventory of research infrastructure in San Antonio, it is clear that UTSA is well on the way to becoming a Tier One institution."

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Ruth Jones-McClendon

State Representative Ruth Jones-McClendon

"Tier One universities are one of the best ways to develop a highly-skilled workforce for the San Antonio community. Especially in the sciences, engineering and professional fields, which are so critical to San Antonio’s economic success.  Tier One universities are also critical in keeping the state competitive in the forefront of research as we seek to bring talent, ideas, and economic development to Texas. "

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Julian Castro

Julian Castro Mayor of San Antonio

"For San Antonio to compete nationally in attracting great jobs and industry, and retaining the companies that we do have, there is no doubt higher education is the basic building block. A Tier One university can transform San Antonio into a Tier One City! We already have a strong collection of major corporations and a strong inventory of research entities like Southwest Research Institute; Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research; the UTHSC-SA; Brook Army Medical center; and the 24th Air Force Cyber Command to name a few. I am confident that San Antonio has all the right ingredients to help elevate UTSA to Tier One. President Romo needs everyone in San Antonio to rally behind him. This is a race that six other communities are running in. I am behind UTSA in this Tier One race."

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Nelson Wolff

Nelson Wolff Bexar County Judge

"Just in the past year we have seen Bexar County grow in high quality jobs with additions like Medtronic Inc., Toyota Tacoma Manufacturing, Whataburger headquarters, 24th Air Force Cyber Command, and All State to name a few. Our growth in economic development is largely due in part to UTSA’s enormous contributions in graduating top students, producing valuable research, and sharing their top faculty with our community. Their excellence in academic programs and quality faculty helps put us on the map and helps grow our regional economy. In my book UTSA is already Tier One!"

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Norma Martinez Lozano

Norma Martinez Lozano 2010 Chairwoman, Board of Directors of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

" Tier One status is a pathway to research. Research fosters innovation, which leads to entrepreneurship, business opportunities, and job creation. That’s why this is so important. It’s not about status; it’s about investing in our community and ensuring our prosperity."

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Carri Baker-Wells

Carri Baker-Wells 2010 Chairwoman, Board of Directors, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

"In 2005, The Greater Chamber accepted the challenge of Immediate Past Chamber Chairman John T. Montford to develop a plan that would help make San Antonio not just a good city, but a great city. A group of distinguished business leaders visited and profiled a handful of successful urban communities around the country. We took that information and assessed how San Antonio’s existing assets could be leveraged to take our city to the next level. The report, “Pathway to a Great City” provides recommendations for infrastructure and other capital improvement projects that San Antonio should aspire to complete by 2020. The report also identified projects that would significantly improve our economy and quality of life. With education being a critical component to our future, one of our top recommendations was to support UTSA's effort to reach Tier One Research status. Achieving "Great City" status is a journey, not a destination. Together we succeeded in our first steps with passage of HB 51 during the 81st Legislative session and with voter approval of Proposition 4 in the November 2009 election. UTSA, we are committed to continue to help you in the journey to Tier One Research status."

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Howard Baker

Howard Baker 2010 Chairman, Board of Directors, San Antonio North Chamber of Commerce

"UTSA achieving Tier One status is an incredible opportunity to draw the nation's top research talent and top students to the university and to our community. Investing resources, time, and energy at UTSA creates a pathway for UTSA's emergence as a Research Institution. I am pleased that Texas is creating opportunities to allow additional public universities to have an even greater economic impact. Can you imagine Northern California's Silicon Valley without Stanford University or the University of California – Berkley? Or Boston’s Route 128 without MIT, or Austin without the UT-Austin? The North Chamber is helping mobilize our community to get behind UTSA to achieve Tier One status. Our long standing history with UTSA is demonstrated by securing property to expand the UTSA Downtown Campus, providing scholarships through our annual "Salute to Excellence" luncheon, and partnering with UTSA faculty on the North Chamber’s Leadership Lab. UTSA we are with you on this Tier One journey".

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Kenny Wilson

Kenny Wilson Chairman, UTSA Development Board

"Every business community thrives on the successes of their public institutions of higher education. UTSA generates an economic impact of $1.2 billion and supports 15,000 jobs for the San Antonio area. As a Tier One, UTSA’s impact would more than double. For the future and the economic health of San Antonio, I ask you to get behind President Romo and invest in UTSA to help create a Tier One university for a Tier One City."

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Sam Dawson

Sam Dawson Chair of the Advisory Committee, UTSA College of Engineering

"San Antonio and certainly the entire State of Texas needs additional students enrolled in Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) fields. AT UTSA's College of Engineering student enrollment has jumped 120 percent in the past eight years and research funding has increased 300 percent. In addition, new hires like Dr. Les Shephard from Sandia National Laboratories, the establishment of the new Institute of Conventional Alternative & Renewable Energy (ICARE), and the opening of the new Applied Engineering & Technology Building will further enhance UTSA’s momentum in becoming a Tier One. But we need your investment to double and triple our momentum. UTSA cannot do this alone. Step up San Antonio we are in a Tier One race with six other state universities!"

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President Romo

Dr. Ricardo Romo President of UTSA

"When we speak of becoming a national research university or a Tier One, we are creating an environment where young people can reach their full potential and scholars can reset the boundaries of human knowledge, creativity, and exploration. San Antonio can capitalize on this intellectual power to grow, retain, and recruit companies for our economy. This is what San Antonio deserves."


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