When CNBC reporter Scott Cohn reported live last week to name Texas as America’s top state for business, he did so from ground zero of economic engines: The University of Texas at Austin. He spoke with UT President Bill Powers about UT-Austin’s role in business and education in the Lone Star State.
With the UT cheerleaders celebrating in the background at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, Cohn discussed Texas’ third trip to the top of the list since CNBC started the study in 2007. This year, Texas racked up 1,604 points out of 2,500 possible, and finished in the top 10 in six of the 10 categories measured. According to the report, the state has the best infrastructure, third lowest cost of living, and earned second place in technology and innovation.
“We knew we wanted to spotlight Texas in as big a way as possible,” Cohn told The Alcalde. “The UT staff was tremendously helpful, and being able to reveal the top state inside Memorial Stadium complete with members of the cheerleading squad made for memorable television.”
Powers told Cohn there are challenges in education across the country, including in Texas, but that higher education is a building block of a great economy.
“We do more with less,” Powers said in the interview. “We are very efficient. We are looking at ways to reform education using technology, taking account of the fact that it’s a different student body than it has been. We see these as challenges and opportunities.”
UT is a critical part of the economy and the business community, Powers asserted, calling the University’s impact on the state huge. Watch the interview here.