Chasing The Pigskin

On the far west end of UT- Arlington’s campus lies a mostly unused gridiron. It’s meticulously curated grass stalks unbothered by by fans an players of the university for which it stands, save the occasional high school game and band competition. But before you  get misty eyed and begin to look up the fight song and alma mater (Forever Arlington!), let’s take a closer look at why we don’t have football and why it won’t likely happen anytime soon.

In general, college sports are expensive, but that is an understatement as far as football is concerned.

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Tier One.

The biggest obstacle that obstructs the University of Texas at Arlington on it’s path to Tier One status is it’s preoccupation for such a title to begin with.

To begin, let’s go over the prerequisites for being a Tier One University.

What it Takes

“Tier One” refers to a specific designation by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Until recently, the Carnegie Foundation used to group and rank universities based on the highest level of education they endow and the amount of research they participate in. Going even further, universities who graduate doctoral candidates are held to strict guidelines that include:

  • Research dollars spent on science and engineering.
  • Research dollars spent on non-science and engineering fields
  • Science and Engineering research staff, include post-doctoral appointees.

So if a university spends money on research, graduates and retains doctoral candidates in STEM ( science, tech, engineering and math) subjects and humanities subjects ( arts, business, public policy and social work), they will be placed on a chart and grouped anywhere from R1 to R3. This is where Tier One comes in, officially known as: R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity.

Now these are the baseline requirements. Each university has their own idea of what it needs to do along with aspects the committee examines like graduation and retention rates.

There are about 9 more confusing graphs like this that make up a composite on about every U.S. university.

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