Statement regarding Carnegie reclassification impact on S&T’s U.S. News rankings

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On September 13, 2011

Update, Sept. 19, 2011: Carnegie returns S&T to doctoral classification
Missouri University of Science and Technology is once again classified as a research university with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. U.S. News & World Report has confirmed that Missouri S&T will again be included in the publication’s annual listing of national colleges and universities.

S&T was omitted from the U.S. News 2012 listing due to a change in the university’s Carnegie classification last year. In late 2010, Carnegie changed Missouri S&T’s classification to a “specialty” engineering campus based on the percentage of graduates in engineering disciplines without notifying the university.

Upon discovery of the change in classification on Sept. 1, Missouri S&T interim Chancellor Warren K. Wray requested that the Carnegie Foundation reclassify Missouri S&T as “Research University (High Activity),” which is the same as its former classification. The foundation informed S&T of the change on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Original text as posted on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2011:

It’s no secret that Missouri University of Science and Technology is one of the nation’s most focused research universities. With 75 percent of our graduates earning degrees in engineering, we have one of the highest percentages of engineering graduates of any doctoral research university in the nation. But as a result of this tight focus, Missouri S&T has been dropped from the latest U.S. News & World Report annual listing of “America’s Best Colleges.”

This is the first time our university has been excluded from this annual report, and it is based solely on a change in how Missouri S&T is categorized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Carnegie Foundation is an independent policy and research center focused on improving higher education since 1905. Last year, the foundation updated its widely used classifications for all colleges and universities. As a result, because of the high percentage of engineering graduates at Missouri S&T, Carnegie removed Missouri S&T from the doctorate-granting institution category and placed us in the “specialized” engineering category. This action was taken despite Missouri S&T’s strong doctoral programs. This semester, 540 students are enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Missouri S&T, and in 2010-2011, we awarded 65 Ph.D. degrees.

We do not agree with this move, because unlike S&T, most other colleges in this specialized engineering category are not doctoral-granting universities. Missouri S&T has submitted a formal appeal to the Carnegie Foundation, requesting that we be returned to the “research university – high research” category. This seems only logical, since Missouri S&T has some of the most accomplished researchers in the world in its ranks.

Due to the nation’s increasing emphasis on producing skilled workers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, Missouri S&T has made a concentrated effort to educate students who are well-prepared to take on the challenges ahead for all of us. That’s why S&T graduates enjoy the second-highest starting salaries among all public universities in the U.S.

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On September 13, 2011. Posted in News