Elon Musk’s presence in Austin is expanding to education.
The billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX wants to start up a university in Austin through one of his charities, the Foundation, the Texas Tribune reported.
The charity will use a $100 million donation from Musk to start a primary and secondary school focused on science, technology, engineering and math. Once that’s fully operational, the institution would evolve into a university and seek accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
It’s unclear where Musk’s university would be located. Based on his other ventures, the tech billionaire could snag a massive plot of land and spark a real estate boom in the surrounding area.
In Bastrop, a suburb just east of Austin, SpaceX, Musk’s Boring Company and its subsidiaries own at least 275 acres off of FM 1209 and FM 969. Musk and Lennar Homes are teaming up on Project Amazing, a housing development spanning 70 acres near a bend of the Colorado River.
Musk’s school, which has yet to be named, would combine in-person and distance education, starting with enrollment of 50 students and expanding over time. Funding would stem from donations and tuition, with provisions for financial aid. The foundation is recruiting an executive director, teachers and administrators.
Austin is home to two accredited universities: the University of Texas at Austin and St. Edwards University. Another upstart, University of Austin, was founded two years ago in response to worries about free speech in colleges.
“We’re just living in a moment where things seem to be coming apart, where people seem to be pulled away from each other, where institutions seem to be shaking in their foundations,” University of Austin President Pano Kanelos told the outlet. “The best response is to build new things.”