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Carnegie Foundation elevates Louisiana Tech to ‘high research’ classification

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has elevated Louisiana Tech University to its “Research University – high research activity” (RU/H) category, placing it among an exclusive group of approximately 100 research universities in the United States to earn this classification.

Louisiana Tech joins such distinguished research universities as Auburn University, Mississippi State University, Baylor University, the University of Arkansas and Clemson University.

“This distinction is a result of the efforts and commitment of our entire university community,” said Louisiana Tech University President Dan Reneau.  “For a research institution like Louisiana Tech, the significance of this new classification cannot be overstated.  It proves that we can effectively compete with some of the nation’s top research institutions for research funding and faculty.”

“Our faculty and staff should be very proud of this accomplishment and the national recognition they have earned for this institution.”

As a doctorate-granting university, Louisiana Tech is grouped with similar institutions based on factors such as research funding, doctoral graduates, and research staff.  These doctorate-granting universities are defined as institutions that award at least 20 doctoral degrees per year, excluding doctoral-level degrees that qualify recipients for entry into professional practice, such as the JD, MD, and PharmD.

“The steady growth of Louisiana Tech’s research program over the years has been key to changing our classification,” said Dr. Les Guice, vice president for research and development at Louisiana Tech.  “President Reneau set us on this path years ago and all of the administration, from vice presidents to deans to department heads, have contributed to the growth of our research program.”

Guice says the types of things Louisiana Tech has done to elevate its research programs impacts its ability to recruit and retain excellent faculty and students.  “It also leads to other positive things for the University such as our ability to attract key industry partners to associate with the institution.  This, in turn, can have significant economic impacts on the University, the community and the state.”

In addition to being north Louisiana’s only Carnegie RU/H institution, Louisiana Tech is also the region’s only SREB Doctoral Four-Year 2 Research University.  Louisiana Tech also plays an important role in the region as a driver of innovation and commercialization of technologies from its research centers.

In 2009, Louisiana Tech broke ground on Enterprise Campus, a 50-acre research park that will provide an environment to support the powerful engagement of industry, government and community partners in the research, development, and educational activities of Louisiana Tech University.

Growth in the number of doctoral programs and graduates at Louisiana Tech has also increased over the past several years with record doctoral and graduate student enrollment achieved in the fall of 2010.

“This new classification is an appropriate reflection of what is occurring at Louisiana Tech,” said Dr. Kenneth Rea, Louisiana Tech’s vice president for academic affairs.  “It attests to our faculty’s commitment and accomplishments, in and outside the classroom.”

According to the Carnegie Foundation, the Carnegie Classification has been widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students, or faculty.

“The University of Louisiana System is extremely proud of Louisiana Tech University’s recognition by Carnegie as a research university with high research activity,” said Dr. Randy Moffett, president of the University of Louisiana System.  “As we know, universities and research, in particular, drive economic development.  This reinforces Tech’s impact on Louisiana’s economy and affirms their place among the country’s leading universities.”

 The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education was developed in the 1970s as a means to classify colleges and universities to support the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s program of research and policy analysis.  Since its inception, the Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for describing institutional diversity in higher education.