As other states freeze faculty salaries and even cut college enrollments, we might find the best buyer’s market for brainpower in more than a decade. So let’s capitalize on the strength of our fiscal situation. Texas has taken some positive steps to encourage the commercialization of new ideas through the Emerging Technology Fund. Now let’s put up $250 million of the new stimulus money to help bring 250 top minds to Texas universities in fields of critical importance, such as energy, water, computing, biotechnology, and advanced manufacturing. It’s a time to make strategic investments; let’s invest in brainpower.

Keller is vice provost for higher education policy and research at the University of Texas at Austin.

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