February 06, 2019
The University of New England has risen in the ranks of the nation’s research universities, according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in its recently released 2018 update. The classification system, widely regarded as the leading framework for categorizing accredited U.S. universities and colleges, ranked UNE, for the first time, in the category of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity.”
The reclassification puts UNE among 139 institutions with this status and places it as one of only ten institutions to advance from the “Master’s Colleges and Universities: Larger Programs” category to “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” status. In fact, UNE is the only institution in all of New England to rise from the former category to the latter.
UNE President James Herbert, Ph.D., attributed the elevation in rank to the growth and increasing integration of research and scholarship at the university. “The reclassification of UNE by Carnegie is a testament to our commitment to high quality research as a key component of the institution,” he said. “Our faculty members have done extraordinary work, often focusing their research on real-world problems that impact the region so that solutions can then be scaled to a larger, even global, level. And they have accomplished this, without exception, by deeply involving undergraduate students in their research.”
Dedication to “focused research and scholarship” is one of six priorities outlined by Herbert in his strategic plan for UNE. The document, published in November, notes that the university strives to make research and scholarship “an essential part of students’ educational experience.”
To achieve the distinction of the “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” classification, a university must award a minimum of 20 research or scholarship doctoral degrees and invest at least $5 million in research expenditures per year.
“UNE attracted close to $19 million in external funding for research and scholarship in 2017,” shared Provost Joshua Hamilton, Ph.D. “Forty-one percent of our students participate in faculty research by the time they graduate. And importantly, virtually every research project at UNE directly involves students. There is no doubt that UNE is deeply committed to research and scholarship as a fundamental component of our education and training programs, and the recognition by the Carnegie Classification is a powerful confirmation of that fact.”
The Carnegie Classification was developed by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education in 1970 to support its program of research and policy analysis. Prior to the 2018 update, the classification was last revised in 2015.