The advantage of R1 research status is that UL can share federal research dollars | Education

Perhaps the greatest value in obtaining R1 research status for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette may not lie in competing for funding against other well-positioned elite research institutions.

Ramesh Kolluru, associate rector and vice president of research, innovation and economic development at UL, said the greatest value of elite research status comes when an institution like UL becomes offers as a research partner to other universities R1.

“It makes us competitive to collaborate with them,” he said of R1 institutions like LSU and Tulane, the other two R1 universities in Louisiana. “It’s more a question of collaboration.

Kolluru said less than 2% of federal research and development dollars goes to Louisiana institutions. Designating UL as an R1 institution may tip the table in favor of this state receiving more research money, funding that UL could share with research partners.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported that the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education Institutions made UL the most elite research classification of doctoral institutions shared by institutions like Baylor, Brown, Cal Tech, Duke, Georgia Tech and Johns Hopkins.

Others have moved from R2 status to R1 status meaning “very high research activity” including Baylor, Kent State, North Dakota State, Old Dominion, University of Denver, Memphis, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the State of Utah.

Kolluru said the announcement was made as UL Lafayette finished their final exams, at graduation in the fall and as the football team prepare to play their bowl game. To prevent the announcement from getting lost in the rush of other campus events, UL said it would make a larger announcement towards the start of the spring semester.

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Kolluru said the university has been preparing to achieve the highest research status in “the past six or seven decades,” since it began offering doctoral programs.

“The designation by the Carnegie Classification of higher education institutions is recognition of the strength of our research program,” said E. Joseph Savoie, President of UL. “It is a tribute to the faculty, staff and researchers whose work has pushed the boundaries of scholarship and innovation and has drawn significant national and international attention to the university and the region it is proud to serve. “

The notes were the first published since 2018, the Chronicle said. The next odds will come in three years. Kolluru said universities can go from R1 to R2 just as they can go from R2 to R1. “We have to build on it,” he said.

Among the perks of being rated R1, Kolluru said graduate students and faculty keep up with grades and want to be where they can do best with their research. He said other institutions across the state called after the news broke, offering their congratulations.

He said the credit for success begins with UL’s leadership, starting with Savoie, and mirrors previous administrations, such as Ray Authement’s, which targeted high-level research capabilities as a focus.

“We’ve always had competing demands for dollars,” Kolluru said, during the dwindling economies. But “the leaders set a program. Dr Savoie and I had the opportunity to say, ‘… This is what we want to be.’ We have set ourselves a vision, a challenge and a direction.

He said the university leadership would meet early next semester to schedule an official announcement of the new grading.

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