Arkansas State University announced it has received significant news, especially for its students and faculty members engaged in research. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education revealed it has elevated ASU to the category, “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity.”
“Combined with our level of research activity – which has been growing in the past two years – we have now moved forward. Arkansas State now fits into the ‘high research activity,’ or R2, category based upon our current level of a minimum of $5 million in research the past two years,” the ASU-Jonesboro chancellor Kelly Damphousse said.
Over the past year, Carnegie has been working on revisions to its doctoral university category. According to the Carnegie Classification website, 12 universities, including ASU, went from the “Master’s/regional” M1 classification to the “Doctoral Universities, High Research Activity,” R2 classification.
“We were one of only 12 institutions that moved from M1 to R2 with the change in this methodology,” Damphousse noted. “In the 2018 classification, there are 120 R1 institutions and 139 R2 institutions. This new methodology more accurately places A-State among peer R2 institutions such as Baylor, Boise State, Georgia Southern, Marquette, Seton Hall, TCU, Memphis, Tulsa, Wake Forest, Villanova, and UALR (the only other Arkansas R2 university).”
A key factor is the recognition of how many doctoral professional degrees the school has conferred in recent years. The nurse practitioner program, and those achieving the Doctor of Nursing Practice, are now included in A-State’s ranking count along with A-State’s other terminal academic doctoral programs. The change has implications beyond the campus.
“This re-classification is also important for our region. A-State is a research university that attracts faculty and students from around the world and, as such, is an engine for economic growth for the state of Arkansas,” Damphousse said. “This new classification also will play an economic development role for northeast Arkansas because it also impacts our region’s ability to attract business and industry, with a Carnegie R2 university calling Jonesboro home.”
The new designation is important for A-State’s researchers like Dr. Xiuzhen Huang, appointed last week as an Arkansas Research Alliance Fellow, because of the affirmation of working for a university that not only aspires to, but has achieved, major national recognition.
ASU System President Charles L. Welch also expressed his congratulations to A-State.
“I am so proud of our faculty and staff who have made this designation possible. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible for our university. Thank you all for your hard work. Arkansas State is a university on the rise,” Welch said.
In other ASU business, Tommy Vaughan, an ASU graduate, who came to school on a track and field scholarship, has established a scholarship in the Neil Griffin College of Business. The scholarship is called the Tommy Vaughan Class of 1973 endowed scholarship.
“I feel fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to give back to A-State a small portion of what A-State has given me,” said Vaughan. “Hopefully, this financial aid will provide an opportunity for someone else to be successful in life and continue this legacy.”
Criteria to receive the scholarship include having a major in business, must be a full-time student on the junior or senior level, must have an overall grade point average of 2.75 or better, and must be an out-of-state student. Once endowed, students will apply for the scholarship through the Griffin College.
Vaughan, originally from Atlanta, earned a bachelor of science degree in business in 1973. He returned to his home state and founded Elite Bridal Events LLC, that grew to become the largest producer of bridal shows in the southeast U.S. He sold the company a year ago. He now lives in Braselton, Ga.
While at ASU, Vaughan was a middle-distance runner in track and field under head coach Thad Talley. In 2011, in honor of his track coach at A-State, Vaughan and others spearheaded efforts at a track and field alumni reunion to create the Coach Thad Talley Track Fund. The fund is used as a discretionary account fund for the track and field program.
“I met Coach Talley on a recruiting trip,” concluded Vaughan. “After visiting Jonesboro, I decided to come to Arkansas State. I really liked the people, campus, and town, and truly enjoyed my college days at A-State. The professors were excellent, but the friendliness of the people was unsurpassed.”