Texas does need more national research universities and it recognized this when it the legislature in 2009 adopted a pathway to provide incentives and funding for more universities to reach this important goal. Voters also approved a constitutional amendment providing additional funds to those emerging research institutions meeting critical milestones on the path to Tier 1 status. At this point, Texas Tech, University of North Texas, University of Houston, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at El Paso and University of Texas at San Antonio are focusing on moving to Tier 1 status.
National research universities draw talent, federal research dollars, and innovation to our state. They bring research that has both short and long-term impact on our economy. For every dollar the state invests in UT and A&M, more than $18 is generated in the Texas economy. That's an exceptional return on investment.
So where is Texas now? California and New York both have nine national research universities. Texas has three -- UT, Texas A&M, and Rice. We are a rapidly growing state, and having only three universities in this category limits the state's research capacity and innovation generation these important institutions produce, and it limits the appeal to both talented students, faculty and researchers to move to our state to be engaged with the excitement produced by a national research university.
While funding the efforts for additional Tier 1 universities is important, just as important to the state's economy is continuing to adequately fund the existing public research institutions. A&M and UT must be supported to continue to be premier institutions that attract research and innovation, and the nation's best and brightest students, faculty and researchers.