The Top Research Universities by State

Click here to go to the NEW College Discussion Forum

Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: The Top Research Universities by State
By Alan5 (Alan5) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:25 am: Edit

The Carnegie Foundation's research classifications are used by U.S. News as part of the rankings methodology. Here are the top research univeristies by state:


By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:28 am: Edit

I don't know if there is much to discuss. Within states, the universities are listed alphabetically. Or am I missing something?

By Alan5 (Alan5) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 12:00 pm: Edit

Should research be a factor in U.S. News' rankings methodology?

By Coureur (Coureur) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 12:25 pm: Edit

Any list of "Top Research Universities" that omits Stanford, USC, and Caltech from California is pretty lousy list.

By Alan5 (Alan5) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 12:27 pm: Edit

Scroll down to the list to "private" universities section. Stanford, USC, and Caltech are all on the list.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 01:26 pm: Edit

>> Should research be a factor in U.S. News' rankings methodology?

Not unless we talking about selecting grad schools.

The amount of annual revenue from a university's research division has little or no bearing on the university's undergrad business division.

By Barrons (Barrons) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit

Idad--you are wrong. The beauty of sponsored research is that the U gets to take 40-50% off the top to support the overall university. For a big research school with $500,000,000 in funding, that's nearly $250,000,000 for the school to spend pretty much as it wishes.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 02:11 pm: Edit

Yes. And they don't spend it on the undergrad programs. If they did, they could afford to hire professors to replace all the TAs!

The revenues from the research business division are used primarily to hire the employees for the research business division (grad students).

There are some economies of scale at large research universities. For example, an undergrad-only school spends more per student than a large university because fixed overhead items like libraries and gymnasiums and undergrad deans are amortized over a larger student body.

By Barrons (Barrons) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 02:21 pm: Edit

Some do and some don't. Omce the money is absorbed into the system it is hard to say that $x went to fund spending $x. if they use the research overhead to cover the bulk of library expenses it frees up money for other uses such as undergrad profs.

Here's the UC policy

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 02:33 pm: Edit

Research overheads are negotiated on an institution by institution basis. Indirect costs can be applied to administrative expenses (staff directly involved in a project as well as staff at the university level, such as the office of sponsored research); building maintenance, electricity, water, heat, etc... I have never heard of research money being diverted to libraries or even journal subscriptions.

Research facilities and research projects can be beneficial to undergraduates seeking lab experience and work-study opportunities. One question my S has had while visiting colleges specifically focused on academic year and summer research opportunities. Well endowed LACs such as Williams can afford their students these research opportunities without being major research universities.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 02:47 pm: Edit

Thanks for the interesting link.

I have a very simplistic mind. So convoluted academic reports filled with defintions, percentages, and jargon don't impress me as much as fundamental economic truths such as:

Any rational business will invest its resources (financial and manpower) most heavily in those divisions which generate the greatest revenues and profits.

This fundamental truth can be seen at any college or university by looking at the criteria for tenure, specifically the weighting given to teaching versus research.

One thing I look at for any college or university is the proportion of revenues generated by the undergrad business unit relative to the total revenues of the entire business.

It would be nice if colleges published an accurate figure for actual spending per undergrad student. I don't think we'll see this stat widely available for research universities anytime soon. It is available for undergrad-only schools, of course.

By Barrons (Barrons) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 06:29 pm: Edit

Well, maybe I did not fully convince you but you also can see I'm not full of beans. I think it's nearly impossible to segregate the costs and revenues at all the levels of a large research institution that will often included professional schools and very large sports programs, dorms, etc. Better to compare Berkeley with Madison and Williams with Bowdoin.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 07:25 pm: Edit

The universities could publish accurate per undergrad expenditures. One can only surmise why they don't.

My final analysis is that, for most students, the small liberal arts college will almost always provide better academics due to the emphasis on teaching and the personal instruction.

However, academics are just a small part of the college experience and there are many reasons that a mid-sized private university or large public R1 might be a better overall fit for an undergrad student.

I encouraged my daughter to visit and consider all three types and weigh the pros and cons for herself. I actually pushed the large universities the hardest of anyone in our family, because I see a lot of merit in the energy and diversity of a large student population.

By Blossom (Blossom) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 08:41 pm: Edit

Interestdad, I don't see how you can separate classroom academics from the other elements of the intellectual experience. If you're studying Art History at a U. with its own museum, or studying music composition at a U. with a world-renowned collection of archival music and notations, or studying nanotechnology at a school with a brand new lab facility, you can't isolate the three hours of lectures a day and call that "teaching" vs. the other elements of learning. I recall an ethics class I took in college (before the flood, I know) where we spent half a semester engaged in dialogue with students from the U's med school who were taking the same class as part of their clinical training. It wasn't a big deal... they walked the two blocks from the med school to the main campus. You don't get that kind of engagement at a school focused on educating 18-22 year olds, no matter how renowned the school, or how accomplished the faculty.

I appreciate your POV on small liberal arts colleges-- I disagree that they provide better academics. For many students, the majority of LAC's provide a distinctly inferior intellectual experience, especially in small departments where the student can easily "run out" of classes midway through a degree. And for the 8 students in this ethics class and the 10 med students... we found the ratio of two full professors to 18 students to be just fine, thank you very much.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 12:24 am: Edit

I base my opinion in large part on the "inside" information from two family members are professors in large state university systems. They advise that it is important to look at the criteria for tenure decisions -- teaching versus research. According to them, the tenure criteria at R1 reasearch institutions are well-known in the academic community.

There are certain fields of study for certain students that would be better served by a larger university. However, for most typical undergrads, the emphasis on teaching and individual mentoring of a small undergrad school will provide the best possible academics. Academics, however, are just a small part of the selection process. I see many advantages of a larger community.

Report an offensive message on this page    E-mail this page to a friend
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page