Update to Faculty December 2018
Sent to all faculty on December 13, 2018, and to deans, directors, and chairs on December 18, 2018.
Warmest wishes as we end our semester and head into the holiday season.
2018 has been a tumultuous year for the MSU community, but in this message I share some positive news concerning research and innovation on our campus.
In the recently released 2018 NSF Higher Education Research and Development Survey report (based on data from 2017), our final research expenditure number was $695M. For comparison, in 2013 this number was just above $500M. The HERD number represents total research expenditures across the entire university.
Our national rank jumped from 36 to 32. A four-place jump is quite unusual, so we should be very pleased! We can also be proud that MSU now ranks first nationally in DOE, and combined DOE and NSF, research expenditures.
In the HERD (total research expenditure ranking), we are ahead of Rutgers, UT Austin, Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Purdue, Arizona, Maryland, Indiana, Iowa, ASU, Colorado (Boulder), and UVA.
Almost all of the schools ranked above us (and many below) have major medical research hospitals. In such cases the medical research number can exceed that of the rest of campus combined. In our case only a small fraction of our total comes from medical research - so we have room for significant advancement. The new McLaren Hospital planned for our campus and the new biomedical research area (home to IQ and the soon-to-be completed interdisciplinary science building) are part of our strategy to grow NIH-funded research.
Notable schools ranked above us, but without medical centers: UC Berkeley at $771M (top public university in the U.S. and home of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab) and MIT at $952M (home of Lincoln Laboratory, a major defense research center).
As a sign of our future potential, I note the 11 NSF CAREER awards earned by junior faculty in 2018, and 35 such awards since 2013. The overall quality of our faculty is on an upward trajectory and it is our top priority to continue on this path.
The research expenditure number is, like any metric, merely a crude measure of a much more complex reality. What it really represents is the hard work of our faculty, staff, and students: to discover new knowledge and create new technology in service of mankind. For this, we can all be proud Spartans.
With best wishes,
Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies