Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Friday that he’s considering launching a new university: the “Texas Institute of Technology & Science.”
It’s not clear how serious the mega-billionaire is, particularly considering the proposed school’s obscene acronym and Musk’s reputation for joking on Twitter — even to the point of violating securities laws.
That didn’t stop netizens from seizing on the tweet, propelling the proposed school’s acronym to Twitter’s top 25 trending list in the US on Friday.
Beyond jokes, Musk has a history of making raunchy acronyms in his business operations, including by planning the rollout of Tesla’s Models S, 3, X and Y vehicles to spell out S.3.X.Y. on the company’s website.
When one Twitter user asked whether he had secured funding for the university, Musk responded, “obv.”
That could have just been a nod to Musk’s 2018 tweet in which he said he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 a share, which sent the stock price soaring and eventually led to a settlement between Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission that was supposed to keep the mega-billionaire largely off Twitter.
In another follow-up tweet Friday morning, Musk said the proposed university would “have epic merch.”
Musk’s own feelings about university, though, have been lukewarm. He’s repeatedly derided the experience, saying last year that colleges are “for fun and to prove that you can do your chores, but they’re not for learning.”
He’s also said Tesla won’t have university requirements for jobs, “because that’s absurd.”
Musk — worth an estimated $302 billion — has been ramping up his presence and that of his companies in Texas.
Last year, he announced that he was personally moving to the Lone Star State — where there’s no personal income tax — and earlier this month he announced that his electric car company would move its headquarters to the Austin area as well.
Tesla will continue to expand its massive plant in Fremont, California, but Musk has said the company plans to begin production at its new factory in Austin next year.
Musk’s two other companies, SpaceX and The Boring Company, are both still based in Hawthorne, California.
But SpaceX’s launch site, dubbed Starbase, sits in southeast Texas, near Boca Chica, an unincorporated seaside village in Cameron County. Musk has sought to expand the Starbase and actually create an incorporated US city in the area.
And The Boring Company has previously hinted of a similar expansion to Texas by teasing job postings in the state.
And the San Antonio Express-News reported earlier this year that the company is in talks with San Antonio and Austin officials to create an underground transportation loop in Central Texas, like the one that opened this summer in Las Vegas.
Musk isn’t the only tech billionaire to expand his operations in Texas. Other major technology companies, including Oracle and Hewlett Packard, have left California for Texas in the past year.
State officials have been courting companies to make the move, dangling big-time tax breaks to put new facilities in the state through the Texas Economic Development Act.
And Austin, with its relatively low cost of living, strong university as well as popular events like South by Southwest, has been a hot spot for tech companies and their workers.