Tarleton State University Earns ‘Carnegie High Research Activity’ Status

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Efforts to advance research and other scholarly endeavors have earned Tarleton State University the elevated designation of Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Also known as Carnegie R2, the standing puts Tarleton among 132 universities across the country designated as high research and only one of a handful to move up from Master’s Colleges and Universities-Larger Programs (M1). The reclassification becomes official in February.

“This prestigious designation shows that investing in faculty and facilities really pays off,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “I could not be more proud.”

Sharp said the recognition is a return on investments made by the Legislature and the A&M System Board of Regents.

Criteria for R2 designation considers the number of research/scholarship doctorates awarded annually and a threshold of $5 million in discovery expenditures. Tarleton has graduated more than 130 doctoral students and spent some $60 million in faculty-led research over the past five years. The university’s doctor of philosophy in criminal justice started in fall 2019 and a PhD in counseling is planned for fall 2022, pending approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Tarleton President James Hurley: “Our new status as a Carnegie R2 institution endorses what we already know — that we are a dynamic research university with distinguished professors and exceptional student researchers dedicated to advancing life-changing breakthroughs.”

Among other topics, university researchers are probing chemotherapy delivery systems, gender-based violence, dairy cow nutrition, rural communication and healthcare, bioenergy recovery, social media, chronic stress in law enforcement, brain cell death after a heart attack, biodiversity, child development, mental health, pollinators and food production, and disaster epidemiology.

Tarleton’s Center for Agribusiness Excellence has saved the U.S. Department of Agriculture more than $1.4 billion and generated some $80 million in research funds since it was founded in 2000. CAE remains at the forefront of analytic research, using the most advanced machine learning techniques and platforms for the federal crop insurance program.

Created by the Legislature in 1991, Tarleton’s Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research plays a vital role in developing water quality models and testing around the world. In collaboration with the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Stephenville, TIAER received a $1.5 million grant in 2020 from the Texas General Land Office to help mitigate watershed issues caused by hurricanes on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Tarleton’s Institute for Predictive Analytics in Criminal Justice is strengthening criminal justice policies based on rigorous academic study. A joint initiative with the A&M System, IPAC comes at a time when racial profiling, use of force and increased officer safety are of national interest.

“We’re reaching beyond the university to create a research powerhouse,” Dr. Hurley said. “A powerful instinct for innovation permeates our culture and furthers our commitment to impact the greater good of our region, our state and nation.”

The new Texas Center for Rural Research, Innovation and Economic Development debuted this year, bridging the gap between academic concepts and real-world challenges. Home to 12 Tarleton research centers and institutes, RIED is growing faculty-led student discovery and cultivating collaborations with industry, government agencies and numerous higher education institutions.

And President Hurley’s Faculty Development and Research Initiative, unveiled this fall, is providing more time for professors to uncover fresh knowledge by reducing classroom teaching and backfilling instructional capacity with high-achieving graduate students.

Tarleton’s commitment to encouraging research through innovative instruction is key to its10-year strategic plan (Tarleton Forward 2030: Our Future-Focused Strategic Plan).

“Tarleton’s faculty research is at the forefront of invention and inspiration,” said Dr. Rupa Iyer, Vice President for Tarleton’s Division of Research, Innovation and Economic Development. “Our new R2 designation is a tribute to their extraordinary ability to move ideas from vision to reality.”

For more information on Tarleton research, visit https://www.tarleton.edu/research.

A founding member of The Texas A&M System, Tarleton State is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 16,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.