By Karl Hill
New Mexico State University ranked 32nd nationally in research and development expenditures among universities and colleges without a medical school in fiscal year 2005, according to the National Science Foundation’s latest report.
The NSF lists New Mexico State’s total R&D expenditures at $125.42 million for FY 2005, the most recent year for which comparative statistics are available.
The Top-50 ranking is an indication of faculty productivity and ingenuity, and it also reflects the quality of the university’s educational programs, said Vimal Chaitanya, vice president for research, graduate studies and international programs.
“New Mexico State University continues to make strides in expanding its research portfolio and enhancing the educational experience of its students through a wide range of research initiatives,” Chaitanya said. “We are focusing on strategic research areas, research clusters and interdisciplinary research projects to solve the problems facing our state and nation, and to prepare the professionals who will lead the way in the future.”
The NSF’s annual “Academic Research and Development Expenditures” compiles research statistics from the nation’s colleges and universities, sorting and ranking them according to funding source, academic discipline and other classifications.
This year’s report is the first time the agency has included a classification for colleges and universities without medical schools, said Wynn Egginton, associate vice president for research and faculty support.
In a comparison of all colleges and universities – public, private and those with and without medical schools – New Mexico State ranked 110th with $125.42 million in research expenditures in FY 2005. That compares with a ranking of 125, on expenditures of $93.33 million, in the previous fiscal year, Egginton said.
“To move up 15 places in just a year is phenomenal,” she said. “It shows a real commitment to growing in stature as a research university – and excellent work on the part of our faculty and staff.”
New Mexico State ranked 102nd nationally in federally financed research and development activity, with expenditures totaling $91.25 million. That was up from 109th place the year before, Egginton said.
The university ranked 22nd nationally in engineering R&D expenditures from all sources, federal and nonfederal. It ranked 38th in agricultural sciences, 63rd in chemistry and 78th in the physical sciences.
The physical sciences category includes astronomy, chemistry and physics. The NSF report does not break out astronomy research in a separate table, but if it did, NMSU would rank 22nd, Egginton said after analyzing the statistics.
In looking at research expenditures by federal funding source, the report shows NMSU was 10th nationally in R&D expenditures funded by NASA, 19th in Department of Defense expenditures, 34th in U.S. Department of Agriculture expenditures, and 76th in Department of Energy expenditures.