Texas Push 'Em: Betting Big on Research Universities

Lone Star Rising: Texas Looks to Put Its Colleges on Top 1

Mark C. Greenberg for The Chronicle

Ricardo Romo is president of the U. of Texas at San Antonio, one of the universities eligible to compete for millions of dollars in new state support for research. "We can be much, much better than we are," he says.

Texans, it seems, aren't content with being second in anything. Now the state has set its sights on creating the nation's premier higher-education system.

As esteemed public universities in California and other states have faced major budget cuts, resulting in layoffs, furloughs, and enrollment caps, Texas is setting aside hundreds of millions of new dollars to bolster the research and prestige of its universities.

While higher-education officials in some states struggle to