On the Rise as an R2

Happy New Year!

The new year and new semester are wonderful opportunities to set goals or resolutions for the future. At KSU, this translates into our effort to build the renown and reputation of the University by enhancing student and faculty success. We are well poised for this continued advancement. We have outstanding faculty, staff and students to help us achieve our goal, and we have momentum on our side. So many great things are happening at KSU.

We got a bit of a head start when the University was elevated to an “R2” institution last month in the 2018 Carnegie Classification. The R2 designation — a doctoral institution with “high research activity” — puts KSU among the top 6 percent of colleges and universities nationwide that are classified as either R1 or R2. More specifically, the Carnegie classifications of R1 and R2 are noted for universities that award at least 20 research/scholarship doctoral degrees each year and have research expenditures of at least $5 million.

A university’s Carnegie classification strongly correlates to a number of positive factors, such as enhanced opportunities for undergraduate students, increased external funding for the university, opportunities to pilot innovative programs and offer graduate degrees, and perceived attractiveness to competitively sought faculty and students.

Standing out among our fellow R2 universities will require the dedication and support of the entire KSU community, including the faculty and leadership from our 13 colleges and our many staff members. If we all coalesce behind the goal of improving our university and becoming a top tier R2, KSU will be poised to provide exceptional opportunities for students.

This new designation is a significant recognition of just how far Kennesaw State has come. Yet it also gives us new perspectives on what we can do to improve the educational experience for every one of our students.

Across the university, students at all levels — undergraduate and graduate alike — are able to work with faculty members in making important discoveries through research and creative scholarship. That includes students like Hope Didier, who is conducting research in Molecular and Cellular Biology under the mentorship of Chemistry Professor Jonathan McMurry; or Dylan Carter, who collaborates with Theater and Performance Arts Assistant Professor Angela Farr Schiller and recently earned the coveted top student researcher award in the creative arts category at the Georgia Conference on Undergraduate Research. These collaborations are a crucial part of what makes “high research activity” a benefit for KSU students.

Our level of research, collaboration and innovation stands to grow even further. We have a new vice president for research coming to campus next month, and in April, KSU will showcase how important research is for undergraduates during the 33rd annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research. KSU will continue to expand and improve how research factors into the educational experience for our students, with the new R2 designation in mind.

I am confident 2019 will be one to remember as we work successfully toward our ambitious university-wide goals.

Pamela Whitten


Written By Whitten