R1 Our Way Task Force

R1 Our Way

In 2018, Carnegie announced the 131 universities that were designated as Very High Research Activity (R1) universities, including UNT – which we estimate ranked #117 of #131. As part of our R1 Our Way plan our aspiration is to move from the bottom quartile of R1 to move to the top half of R1 universities and become of similar quality to Association of American Universities (AAU) universities. This goal is aligned with the Texas National Research University initiative, codified in the Texas Education Code 62.141-62.149. The State of Texas has designated UNT as an emerging research university – with the aim of aiding UNT in becoming an AAU quality institution. The AAU includes 63 research universities, who are among the most research intensive in the Nation. These universities make up most of the top half of the Carnegie R1 universities.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education is preparing to undertake the next analysis period which will be released at the end of 2021. Carnegie will be maintaining the same methodology that was used in the 2018 evaluation. The evaluation will be based on the following data:

  1. Doctoral degree completions, 2019-2020
  2. Postdoctoral and Research Staff, 2018-2019 (FY19)
  3. University Enrollment, Fall 2020
  4. Faculty Count, Fall of 2020
  5. Research Expenditures, 2019-2020 (FY20)

This memo serves as a progress report. The highlights:

  1. 16% increase in doctoral graduates
  2. 12% increase in tenured/tenure-track faculty
  3. 20% increase in postdocs/research staff and 11% projected increase in per capita research staff
  4. 93% increase in research expenditures

In addition to the data below we have made a number of strategic investments that will support our progress as an R1 university. We currently have plans underway for the renovation of the 2nd floor of the Science Research building, planning for a new vivarium, and the recent announcement of a state-funded $113M STEM research building. We have invested in in tuition benefit plan, generated resources for endowed chairs/professorships and a range of other research enabling measures.

FINAL DATA

Doctoral Degree Completions: During the 2019-20 academic year, UNT had 2,119 doctoral students enrolled, of which 15.3% graduated. Doctoral degree completions are measured from Summer 2019 through Spring 2020. It is important to understand that Carnegie categorizes doctoral students based on data UNT reports to iPEDS. This includes all doctoral graduates, including PhDs, DMAs, and EdDs. The degrees are listed in the CIP Code Category used by iPEDS. In the 2016-17 measurement cycle, UNT had 279 doctoral graduates. For the

2019-20 measurement cycle this increased 16.4% to 325 doctoral graduates. The table below illustrates the change in the two measurement cycles and the potential change in rank, showing that UNT made progress in every doctoral category – which include Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Other Research Doctorates, and Other Professional Doctorates.

Each doctoral variable is weighted differently and bringing up our standing in one category could more significantly impact our overall standing than progress in another category. In the short-term a positive change in social science graduates has the highest degree of impact on our overall Carnegie rank, due to the relative weight, our position in terms of number of graduates and the competitive landscape of universities clustered around us. Our gains in each variable will positively impact our overall position. That said, the 73% growth in social sciences doctoral graduates will be critical relative to our positioning in the next Carnegie evaluation.

Table 1. UNT Doctoral Graduates in Carnegie Measurement Cycles

 

Doctorate Degree

2016-
17

2019-
20

Change

% Change

National Rank 2018 Carnegie Report (Among R1/All Research
Universities)

Potential Impact of 2019-20
Graduates*

Humanities

62

75

13

+21%

39/39

26/26

English

9

6

-3

-33%

 

 

History

3

7

+4

+133%

 

 

Philosophy

3

5

+2

+67%

 

 

Music
General

4

3

-1

-25%

 

 

Music Perf.

41

54

+13

+32%

 

 

Musicology

2

0

-2

N/A

 

 

Social
Sciences

19

33

16

+74%

101/116

68/74

Gerontology**

3

2

-1

-66%

 

 

Poli Science

7

7

0

+0%

 

 

Sociology

4

9

 +5

+125%

 

 

Public Admin

5

15

 +10

+200%

 

 

STEM

64

78

14

+22%

118/130

111/117

Env. Science

1

3

2

+200%

 

 

Biology

7

5

-2

-29%

 

 

Biochemistry

0

3

+3

+100%

 

 

Chemistry

8

17

+9

+113%

 

 

Math

7

7

0

+0%

 

 

Physics

4

5

1

+25%

 

 

Comp.
Science

11

13

2

+18%

 

 

Info. Science

11

5

-6

-55%

 

 

Electrical
Eng.

0

6

6

N/A

 

 

Materials Sci.

12

9

-3

-25%

 

 

Mech. Eng.

3

5

2

+67%

 

 

Other
Research

123

126

3

+2%

24/28

23/27

Exp. Psyc.

3

1

-2

-67%

 

 

Clinical Psyc.

10

6

-4

-40%

 

 

C. Health
Psyc

-

5

+5

100%

 

 

Counsel.
Psyc

7

6

-1

-14%

 

 

Ed Psyc

2

9

+7

+350%

 

 

Art
Education

3

4

+1

+33%

 

 

Music Ed.

0

2

+2

+100%

 

 

Counselor
Ed.

13

10

-3

-23%

 

 

Edu.
Statistics

5

0

-5

-100%

 

 

Curriculum

7

16

+9

+129%

 

 

Ed
Leadership

13

28

+15

+115%

 

 

Higher Ed.

13

5

-8

-62%

 

 

Special Ed.

4

2

-2

-50%

 

 

Reading Ed.

1

0

-1

-100%

 

 

Computer
Ed.

1

0

-1

-100%

 

 

Learning
Tech.

17

12

-5

-29%

 

 

Music Ed.

0

3

+3

+100%

 

 

Business

20

16

-4

-20%

 

 

Finance

1

0

-1

-100%

 

 

HR

3

3

0

0%

 

 

Doctorate
Prof.***

11

13

2

+18%

125/578

123/375

Audiology

11

13

2

+18%

 

 

*Compares 2019-20 Doctoral Graduates to the 2016-17 data nationally. The number reported would be our rank if all universities do not change their position in the current Carnegie cycle. While we know universities will change position, this data is intended to show relative progress by doctoral variable.

** Gerontology was phased out as a degree and reorganized as the PhD in Health Services Research degree which has growing enrollment and will produce more doctoral graduates in coming years. It currently falls under the Gerontology CIP code. THECB asked UNT to change the CIP code which will begin reported starting next year. This change will result in this doctorate likely moving from a research doctorate in social sciences to the Other Research Doctorate variable, we are seeking to verify with Carnegie to verify the CIP code under which this doctorate will fall in future Carnegie cycles. This change results placement in a category with a lower weight, but on the plus side moves the doctorate into a category in which we perform particularly strongly.

*** UNT will never move much on this variable, which favors universities with academic medical centers and includes M.D. and other professional health profession degrees. This variable has the lowest weight among the doctoral degree variables.

Faculty Count: The faculty count is based on the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty at the university. In the fall of 2017, UNT had a total tenured/tenure-track faculty count of 737 faculty, ranking UNT #107 among R1 universities and #122 among all research universities. UNT has experienced a growth in faculty over the last few years, with a focus on increase tenure-track faculty to support our research mission. We are projecting that the full growth in tenured/tenure-track faculty for the Fall of 2020 won’t be shown, due to the hiring freeze and faculty who have accepted the voluntary separation agreement due to COVID-19. The Fall 2020 faculty count is 837 faculty, an increase of 12%. While this increase is not as it would have been if COVID-19 had not caused delays in hiring for Fall 2020. The faculty count is used to calculate research expenditures per faculty member in STEM/Non-STEM and the per capita research staff number. UNT generally performs poorly in research expenditures per capita because Carnegie uses the total faculty count as the denominator and divides that into STEM research expenditures as one variable, Non-STEM research expenditures, and STEM postdocs/research staff. This method hurts UNT because the distribution of our faculty is more heavily weighted in non-grant/non-STEM areas than land-grant or STEM focused universities. A smaller denominator in faculty count would improve our per capita measures. All this said, we know that all research universities headcounts will likely be impacted for the fall due to COVID-19 so this change may impact all universities.  

PostDoc/Research Staff: In 2016, we had 55 postdocs/research staff. This included 31 postdocs and 24 research staff that held doctorates. For the Fall of 2018, this variable grew to 42 postdocs and 20 research staff – for a total of 62 postdocs/research staff, an increase of 13%. This variable measures the number of postdocs/research staff in science, engineering and health fields. We have continued efforts to improve in this area by appropriately classifying research staff. In the 2018 Carnegie report UNT ranked #122 among R1 universities and #151 among all research universities. Given our growth if all universities stayed the same, we would move to #115 among R1 universities and #144 overall.  Because this data is now publicly available we can compare ourselves to our peers among all universities we rank #165 for postdocs (up from #186 in Fall 2016) and #157 for research staff (down from #148 in Fall 2016). We do not know how Carnegie weights these two numbers to create their combined variable. 

Per Capita PostDoc/Research Staff: In FY 20, our ratio was 0.8, up from 0.7 in the prior cycle – an increase of 11%. In 2016, our ratio was 0.07 ranking UNT as #123 among R1 universities and #172 among all research universities. The way this variable is calculated is by dividing the number of postdocs/research staff by the number of tenured/tenure-track faculty. Because of the growth in the number of postdocs/research staff, this positively impacts the ratio. Given our growth if all universities stayed the same, we would move to #110 among R1 universities and #162 overall.  

Research Expenditures: UNT’s HERD Research Expenditures were $84.2M for FY 20, up from $43.7M in FY 17 – a this is up 92.7%. Note that Carnegie is reporting that if the HERD numbers are not up on the NSF website by early December they will use the FY 19 figures (in FY 19 we had $78.7M). UNT like other research universities had some impacts in FY 20 as a result of COVID-19 research shutdowns which dampened our research expenditures in FY 20. All universities were impacted with shut-downs and so likely would see similar effects.

Science & Engineering (S&E) Research Expenditures: In FY 20, STEM research expenditures rose to $57.6M, from $35M, an increase of 64.5%. It is important to know that NSF’s definition of STEM is broad and includes the following: 

  • Computer and Information Sciences 
  • Engineering 
  • Geosciences, Atmospheric Sciences and Ocean Sciences 
  • Life Sciences 
  • Math and Statistics 
  • Physical Sciences 
  • Psychology 
  • Social Sciences 

Per Capita S&E Research Expenditures: In FY 20, UNT had S&E research expenditures of $69 per capita, up from $46 in the last cycle. This variable is calculated by taking the S&E expenditures and dividing by the university-wide count of tenured/tenure-track faculty. Given that our university has a smaller proportion of STEM faculty, the result is lower per capita expenditures.  

Non-Science and Engineering Research Expenditures: In FY 20 UNT had $26.5M in Non-S&E research expenditures, up from $8.3M in the last measurement cycle. It is important to know that NSF’s definition of non-STEM is narrow and includes the following:

  • Business Management and Business Administration 
  • Communication and Communications Technologies 
  • Education 
  • Humanities 
  • Law 
  • Social Work 
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Per Capita Non-Science and Engineering Research Expenditures: In FY 20, UNT had Non-S&E research expenditures of $32 per capita, up from $11 in the last cycle. This variable is calculated by taking the Non-S&E expenditures and dividing by the university-wide count of tenured/tenure-track faculty.

Table 2. UNT Research Expenditures in Carnegie Measurement Cycles

Research Expenditure Variable

FY 17

FY 20

Change

% Change

National Rank 2018 Carnegie Report (Among R1/All Research Universities)

Potential Impact of Change* (Among R1/All Research Universities)

STEM Expenditures

$38.9M

$57.6M

+$18.7M

+64%

129/174

126/131

Non-STEM Expenditures

$8.3M

$26.5M

+$18.2M

+219%

102/122

52/55

Per Capita STEM Expenditures

$46

$69

+$23

+50%

129/207

126/178

Per Capita Non-STEM Expenditures

$11

$32

+$21

+191%

84/114

20/25

* Presumes all R1s were static. Compares FY Expenditures to the FY 17 Expenditures data nationally. The number reported would be our rank if all universities do not change their position in the current Carnegie cycle. While we know universities will change position, this data is intended to show relative progress by research expenditures variable.

University Enrollment: The Fall 2020 enrollment was 40,953. University enrollment is not a variable that will be critical in our Carnegie evaluation as it is not used in the direct determination of R1/R2 universities. We know that every university nationally saw enrollment impacts as a result of COVID. Fortunately, this will have no impact on our standing as a research university