It is Christmas for many universities in Texas.
All that the several "emerging" research institutions had to do was raise several million dollars to see those dollars matched by the Texas government under the recently passed Texas Research Incentive Program, a seemingly daunting task.
But most of the universities were flooded with donations within a small span of time. On Tuesday, the University of Texas at Dallas received 16 gifts totaling more than $16.8 million, all of which were greater than $100,000. It was the most individual seven-figure gifts the school had ever seen in one day.
University of Texas at Arlington also fared well. It raised $3.75 million in gifts, which would equal an estimated $7 million when matched through the TRIP fund.
The state proffered the funds to enable the research universities to better compete for elite, or "tier one" status, by helping them meet certain goals in research.
With more highly ranked research universities, Texas will look smarter and get more business, hope those who passed the bill.
"The result would enhance Texas' national and international profile in the academic arena and, ultimately, in the competitive business domain as well," said Sen. Judith Zaffirini, who introduced the bill.
Recipients of the matching program include: The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University and seven emerging research universities, namely, Texas Tech University, University of Houston, University of North Texas, UTA, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at El Paso and University of Texas at San Antonio.
Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.