Texas Tech is one of only 81 public institutions listed in the top tier.
Texas Tech University was listed among the nation's top doctoral universities in the latest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Of the 115 universities listed in the Highest Research Activity category, Texas Tech is one of 81 public institutions in the top tier.
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, announced every five years, is the foremost measure of a university's research, academic scholarship and teaching. Between the three categories – Highest Research Activity, Higher Research Activity, and Moderate Research Activity – 335 universities were listed.
"Designation as a Carnegie Tier One university is not accomplished overnight," said John Opperman, Texas Tech interim president. "It is the culmination of years of dedication to research, teaching and learning by our administration, faculty, staff and students."
Texas Tech's ascent into the top tier of research institutions reflects the university's recent momentum. In May 2012, the university was the first in the state to gain access to the National Research University Fund (NRUF) as set forth by Texas House Bill 51, which identified eight emerging national research universities in 2009.
The commitment to research is not new to the university, but more recent investments in infrastructure, faculty retention and recruitment, and workspace have reinforced that commitment. Additionally, partnerships and collaborations with industry leaders, such as Bayer CropScience, provided a boost to Texas Tech's research initiative, as has the opening of the Innovation Hub and Research Park.
"Texas Tech can be proud that it is now listed among the 'highest research activity' institutions and was one of only 15 universities to move into this category since the previous ranking in 2010," said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech Provost. "The Carnegie designation is rewarding for our faculty, who make possible a productive, research-oriented environment, while still fulfilling our fundamental obligation of providing our students with an exceptional educational experience."
Texas Tech has shown increases in the number of doctoral degrees awarded each of the last five years, including 332 in 2015. Doctoral degrees conferred is among the criteria for Carnegie's highest research activity designation and was a primary category in the state's NRUF thresholds. By contrast, the university conferred 243 doctoral degrees in 2010.
"The attainment of the benchmarks that moved Texas Tech into the top tier of research universities is a testament to a long history of scholarship and research by our faculty and another source of pride for our students and alumni," Schovanec said.
While recognizing the significance of the Carnegie classification, Opperman noted the importance of focusing on the future.
"This is a significant milestone for Texas Tech University and its community and should be a source of pride," Opperman said. "But we also recognize there is more to being a great public research university. We should use this opportunity to renew our historical commitment to the undergraduate education experience of our students, while continuing to expand research opportunities that will make a difference."