EL PASO, Texas - The University of Texas at El Paso has attained a coveted R1 designation, meaning it is now considered a top tier doctoral university with high research activity, the university announced Wednesday.
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education bestowed the designation, making UTEP one of only 130 top tier universities among the 2,883 four-year higher education institutions across the U.S. to earn this prestigious R1 distinction.
The university joins the ranks of universities like Stanford, M.I.T., Michigan, Arizona and California-Berkeley.
"This newly earned classification strongly validates UTEP's success in delivering on our innovative access and excellence mission," said President Diana Natalicio. "It also powerfully affirms the stature of UTEP faculty researchers, the quality of their innovative work, and their competitiveness in securing funding to support it."
Natalicio said the classification enhances UTEP's national brand and increases the value of a UTEP degree.
Since Natalicio took over as university president 30 years ago, annual research expenditures at UTEP have grown from $6 million to $95 million, the university said. Doctoral degree offerings have increased from a single program in geology to 22 programs offered by all colleges and schools across the campus.
During the announcement, the university credited the work of UTEP Vice President for Research Dr. Roberto Osegueda. "Under his guidance, the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects has provided strong and creative support to faculty and staff members as they prepare their proposals and, once funded, as they conduct the research and manage the myriad accounting and reporting documentation requirements," the university said in a news release.
"UTEP is committed to recruiting and fostering the development of outstanding faculty members, nearly two-thirds of whom are now engaged in externally funded research activity," Osegueda said., "Because of their efforts, UTEP ranks third in federal research spending per tenured and tenure-track faculty member among all public universities in Texas, after UT Austin and Texas A&M."
Other Texas universities designated as R1 include The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Dallas, Rice University, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas.