UA highly ranked among public schools

Jake Hanes

More prestigious faculty and students may be eyeing the UA as a place to continue their studies due to impressive rankings in a report released from the National Science Foundation last week.

The report, which ranked universities based on research expenditures for the 2004 fiscal year, placed the UA 21st in the nation, up one spot from last year.

Undergrads really benefit from the research ranking, although I’m not sure if they are aware of the rankings themselves.

-Carol Bender,
director of UBRP

The U.S. News and World Report college rankings, released today, ranks the UA 46th among public universities.

Leslie Tolbert, vice president of research, said the numbers are not important for securing federal grant proposals and funding from private organizations, but they do play a factor in who comes to the university.

“”The rankings have a bigger impact for recruiting students and faculty,”” said Tolbert.

The largest portion of the approximately $479 million spent by the UA came from physical science research departments, with expenditures over $124 million, ranking them third in the nation.

Life sciences, which include medical and biological research, accounted for $256 million.

Tolbert explained that the ranking accounts for expenditures from federal and private grants, not state funding or income from tuition.

“”The big deal is that we are near the top 20, which reminds people we are a place to go for strong research,”” said Tolbert.

Tolbert cited the NASA program and the Undergraduate Biology Research Program as examples of how the rankings have helped attract more researchers and make the programs more competitive.

Carol Bender, director of UBRP, said the rankings help support the UA’s reputation as a research institution.

“”Undergrads really benefit from the research ranking, although I’m not sure if they are aware of the rankings themselves,”” Bender said.

Katherine Horak, a pharmacology graduate student who is involved in cardiovascular research at the University Medical Center, agreed that the standings benefit the university’s reputation, especially for attracting new professors.

“”Professors want to look at universities that are supportive of their faculty and provide a nurturing environment,”” Horak said.

The UA ranked significantly higher than ASU, which spent about $152 million and ranked at 95th place. However, the UA fell just short of the top 20, beat out by the University of Colorado, with $483 million.

Johns Hopkins University placed first with research and development expenditures over $1.37 billion.

The data was compiled from research and development statistics provided by hundreds of institutions across the nation.