UTSA surpassed its $120 million fundraising goal years ahead of schedule and has increased its goal to $175 million.

University of Texas at San Antonio president Dr. Ricardo Romo announced Monday that the school had reached its goal of raising $120 million during the school’s first-ever capital campaign fund. 

The school reached the goal more than two years ahead of the 2015 deadline and Romo said the fundraising will continue with a higher goal.

“Our new goals are $55 million for the next two years so our top goal now is $175 million and I think we can do it,” said Romo.

The money has supported 135 new student scholarships, 26 new endowed faculty positions and nine new research centers or institutes. 

Directly and indirectly, the funds will help the university inch closer towards reaching Tier 1 status as a major research center. 

Currently, Texas has three such universities, UT-Austin, Texas A&M and Rice. 

“It helps keep our talent here,” said Romo. “It helps attract individuals that want to go to a school with a good reputation.”

There are certain qualifications universities need to reach in order to be called Tier 1. 

They must have at least $400 million in their endowment over a two-year period, spend at least $45 million annually on research and award an average of 200 doctoral degrees over a two-year span. 

Currently, UTSA’s endowment sits at $100 million, it spends $38 million on research and awards about 80 doctoral degrees a year.

“Officially, designation may be some time away but I believe we become Tier 1 when we act it, we believe it and we live it,” said Romo.

If UTSA increases research spending to $45 million a year, it also becomes eligible to receive funds from the National Research University Fund created by the state legislature in 2011, which had an initial amount of $587 million.

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