Comment of the Day Runner-Up: How About a Do-Over for UT’s Houston Campus Proposal?

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: HOW ABOUT A DO-OVER FOR UT’S HOUSTON CAMPUS PROPOSAL? “I’d be steaming mad if I were UT right now. I don’t see how everyone can align with A&M, but UT asks for everyone to come together after they get the land and everyone tells them to leave. Why didn’t the city/UH/politicians suggest a similar model for UT? They should now move forward with their initial plans. It would be great for the city.” [Innerlooped, commenting on Houston’s Record Rental Levels; The Neighborhoods Hit Hardest By Harvey; A Debris Removal Progress Update; previously on Swamplot] Map showing location of proposed 300-acre UT Houston campus: Houston Public Media  

8 Comment

  • UT is building a full campus designed to undercut UH.
    The size of the land deal is almost as large as UH’s main campus.
    A data center would only need a small fraction of the real estate acquired.
    UT is also required to submit these kind of plans to the state–they are, let’s remember, a state institution.
    UT has shown itself to be untrustworthy and they are quite willing to lie publically (reference to Big12 expansion fiasco where UT voiced public support for UH but then squashed UH’s bid behind closed doors).
    UH is also important to Houston and it’s not in the city’s best interest to have that asset undercut for the greater glory of UT.
    UT’s expansion underscores the unequal funding given to the state universities and is prime evidence of the need to recalibrate how funding is doled out.

  • McRaven went rogue, and never had a plan. UH/COH didn’t know the purchase was happening. Do you think that UH/COH should have accepted the fait accompli and then talked to McRaven? Nothing good would come out that situation.

  • A&M is expanding an already existing department that UH was never going to get the additional money for because it would have been a duplication of state resources.

    UT wanted to start a whole new research campus which would have duplicated the state resources already invested at UH.

  • @greg – A regional UT campus focused on data science is not a threat to a university like UH. Keep your conspiracy theory baloney and inferiority complex to yourself.

  • Tell Amazon if they come to Houston they can 100% control the curriculum and teaching of at least a few of the degrees (ideally an entire department) at this UT Campus. This way they’ll eliminate the uncertainty of having an unprepared workforce. Typically an IT/tech person will show up out of college at least 5 years behind the state of the art; this way they’ll be 5 years ahead. Coupled with the otherwise expected incentives, there is no way Amazon could turn this down in their right mind.

  • @cmacd …. In what universe does a data science center need 300 ACRES? I totally agree with what greg said.

  • who cares if UT undercuts UH. the question should be if it’s good for Houston and the Houston students. more choice, more access.

  • Look…if the State of Texas would benefit from a state-funded university program in data science that’s located in Houston then the dominant state-funded university system in Houston needs to pony up. If that system doesn’t have the funds but an outside state university system both does and is willing to eat hundreds of millions of dollars in up-front costs and huge new overhead despite it not having any particular expertise in that area, then…the State of Texas needs to reconsider the way that it does higher education finance and perhaps also the leadership of the better-funded institution. These institutions are supposed to be on the same team, and if they aren’t, and the rogue institution can’t be reeled in, then the state can and perhaps should put the rogue institution under state conservatorship. /micdrop
    That all being said, I get a distinct sense that this turf war and the PR surrounding it is not being held in good faith. I think that UT’s promises about what new programs would’ve been established in Houston were mostly generated on a defensive and ad hoc basis to try and save face on a profoundly bungled deal. I think that UH’s fears that this would’ve become a full-fledged university with four-year degree programs were also unjustified because there haven’t been any such brand new institutions in Texas for decades, ever since the baby boomers started waning as a college-aged generation. I think that what was really at stake was that certain academic programs are profit centers and that UT was going to try and edge out UH wherever possible…just as they’ve been doing for years with MBAs. This was a resource grab. That UH people are actually concerned about a general university program offered by a UT-flagged satellite speaks and also that UT people think that such a program would be superior to UH’s program signals to me that the UH folks continue to harbor an undeserved sense of insecurity about their academic programs and that UT folks overestimate the quality of their non-flagship institutions. I mean, come on now…graduating from UT-RGV or UT-Arlington is not even remotely similar to graduating from UT-Austin. It bears no resemblance and the UH main campus outperforms them handily.