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UTA named elite Research - 1 university in Carnegie Classification

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 • Media Contact: Louisa Kellie

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UTA Researcher

UTA Researchers

The University of Texas at Arlington was named today in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the definitive list for the top doctoral research universities in the United States. UTA joins a distinguished group of 115 institutions including Harvard, MIT and Johns Hopkins in the “highest research” or R-1 category.

The Carnegie Classification analyzes IPEDS data from all U.S. post-secondary institutions and evaluates measures of research activity for doctoral universities in making its assessments, which are released every five years. 

“This is a tremendous validation of UTA’s emergence as a preeminent university on the national stage. Being ranked as a Research 1 university places us truly among the best of the best,” President Vistasp M. Karbhari said.

“Thriving research universities foster economic development by infusing their regions with technology, knowledge and talent. I couldn’t be prouder of the work that our students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters are doing to ensure that UTA is second to none and is serving North Texas to the fullest extent.”

Duane Dimos, UTA vice president for research

The Carnegie Classification’s assignment to categories of highest, higher and moderate research activity is based on the following correlates: research and development expenditures in both science and engineering and in non-science and engineering fields; science and engineering research staff including post-doctoral candidates and non-faculty staff with doctorates; and doctoral conferrals in humanities and social sciences fields, in STEM fields, and in other areas such as business, education, public policy and social work. 

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, applauded UTA’s new classification and affirmed the vital economic role that a world-class research institution plays in the North Texas region.

“Achieving the Carnegie ‘highest research activity’ designation places UTA in an entirely new league,” Hancock said. “Under President Karbhari’s leadership, UTA continues to demonstrate its real value to the people of Texas. Having a research institution of this caliber in our community is an important asset, and I applaud the many individuals whose hard work and dedication to excellence contributed to this impressive designation.” 

Undergraduate researchers at UTA

Undergraduate researchers at UTA

UTA conferred 216 doctoral degrees in 2015, a threshold that has been reached for the second year in a row, thereby attaining one more criteria in UTA’s quest to not only be classified as a national R-1 university, now achieved, but also to be ranked as Tier One in the state of Texas.

“UTA has achieved and exceeded many of the metrics by which the nation’s most prestigious universities are measured, and we are well on our way to surpassing our near term goal of $100 million in annual research expenditures,” President Karbhari said. “This new assessment is another milestone for the model 21st century urban research university and the urban flagship for the University of Texas System.”

Research achievements, strategic hires

2015 saw the launch of the UTA Strategic Plan 2020 and a host of initiatives and strategic hires to advance the institution’s mission, reputation and service to the community. Among those was the announcement that UTA will add a 200,000-square-foot Science and Engineering Innovation Research building largely made possible through funding from the Texas legislature and UT System. This building will usher in a new era in health science teaching and research with groundbreaking is expected in October 2016.

UTA is currently recruiting 50 new faculty hires in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA), Education, Science, Liberal Arts, and Nursing and Health Innovation, with more openings to be posted for fall 2016.

“These positions we expect to fill this spring, and the added number of fall recruitments, serve to fuel this continuing drive towards national preeminence in teaching, research, outreach, and service, both at the undergraduate and graduate level,” said Linda Johnsrud, interim vice president for academic affairs and provost.

The anticipated new hires are in addition to the prominent hires made over the last year and a half including Physicist David Nygren (National Academy of Sciences); Kenneth Reifsnider (National Academy of Engineering); Marco Brotto, the George W. and Hazel M. Jay Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation; Mark Haykowsky, Moritz Chair of Geriatric Nursing Research in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation; College of Liberal Arts Dean Paul Wong; Nursing and Health Innovation Dean Anne Bavier; Vice President for Research Duane Dimos (National Academy of Inventors); and Dean of the College of Science Morteza Khaledi; all of whom are adding to the tremendous depth of talent of faculty at UTA. 

Engineers at UTA

Two prominent UTA professors of chemistry and biochemistry, Daniel W. Armstrong and Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta, are ranked among the Top 100 most influential people in the world of analytical science by the monthly journal The Analytical Scientist.

Dimos said, “Our research enterprise including UTARI continues to grow in excellence and in grant expenditures, as we strive to be even more relevant to the community we serve, including corporations who look to us for discoveries and innovation that will solve the problems of today and tomorrow.”

Recent grants awarded focus on both the fundamentals in scientific knowledge and how those discoveries can be applied in health sciences and other key quality of life factors. They include:

  • A $1.24 million Office of Naval Research grant to Michael Cho, chair of the Department of Bioengineering, to determine how shockwaves injure the brains of soldiers in battle;
  • A $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to Matthew Brothers, an associate professor of kinesiology, to develop what are believed to be the first formal protocols for effective and safe use of cold therapy, and a state-of-the-art cryotherapy device that can stimulate blood flow to keep tissue healthy and minimize potential side effects.
  • A $2 million National Institutes of Health grant to Heng Huang, a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, to investigate the possibility of predicting whether a person is predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s disease by analyzing complex genomics data;
  • A $1 million grant from NASA to Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta, UTA’s Hamish Small Chair in Ion Analysis of Chemistry and Biochemistry, to further the search for amino acids, the so-called building blocks of life, in space.

UTA continues to be a leader in Texas and the generator of highly skilled intellectual capital, having awarded 10,585 degrees in the 2014-15 academic year and being on track to meet or exceed that goal in 2016.

“It is not by chance that UTA leads Texas and is second in the nation for the number of fellows of the National Academy of Inventors,” President Karbhari said. “Our University culture and drive for excellence is attracting the world’s best researchers from diverse fields and encouraging students and faculty alike to break new ground and create what others have not even imagined.”

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie “highest research activity” institution of more than 51,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UTA as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at