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Time for Tier 1

Time for Tier 1

Swift Action Raises $4.245 Million to help UTD Advance to Tier 1

On June 17, 2009, Governor Rick Perry signed the "Tier One Bill" into law, giving seven public universities in Texas a competitive advantage on a national scale. One of those schools was UT Dallas.

With this landmark legislation the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP) was created, offering $50 million in matching funds from the state to support the development of additional tier one national research universities in Texas.

For UT Dallas, this legislation and its matching funds mean progress for the university toward achieving its goal of becoming the next national research university in Texas. For the City of Dallas and all of its surrounding neighbors, it means an opportunity to draw the best researchers and students to our area, create new jobs, generate economic growth and strengthen our community. The TRIP fund makes $25 million available for matching funds over each of the next two years.

Cash gifts received by the universities by September 1, 2009 were eligible for state matching funds according to the gift ranges:

  • 50% match - Cash gift of $100,000 to $999,999
  • 75% match – Cash gift of $1 million to $1,999,999
  • 100% match – Cash gift of $2 million to $10 million

With the deadline looming, CFT went to school, literally. Through the hard work of UTD administrators, the various schools on campus and the local community, a substantial amount of research dollars were raised in a single month for a fund at CFT to benefit UT Dallas. By pooling smaller gifts to the university into CFT’s UT Dallas TRIP fund, the university was able to leverage a larger match. On September 1, the foundation issued a single $4.25 million grant to the university, moving UT Dallas closer to turning its vision into a reality.

To meet the qualifications of TRIP, the grant designated four separate gifts:

  • $2,039,790 to the Director’s Fund for Research Excellence supporting research in the Center for BrainHealth in the School of Behavioral and Brain Science;
  • $100,000 to the IAB Graduate Fellowship in the Jonsson School for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science;
  • $2,000,000 to the Dee Wyly Distinguished Chair designated to the Center for BrainHealth in the School of Behavioral and Brain Science to support research via the endowed chair held by the Chief Director, as specified in the corresponding grant agreement which governs this gift. TRIP matching funds associated with this gift are required to be designated to this endowed chair; and
  • $116,500 to the School of Management Professorship to support research via a professorship for the School of Management.

"When the university needed swift action, we were able to put our resources to work for them," said Brent Christopher, CFT’s former President and CEO.

According to TRIP requirements, incentive funding plays a key role in deciding which schools advance to Tier One. Incentive funding relies heavily on donations from the local community, private donors and university leaders to essentially earn state support. "CFT is proud to have played a role in helping UT Dallas progress toward recognition as a Tier One school," Christopher said.

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