WMU News

Carnegie Foundation ranks WMU in top classification

Aug. 7, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University has moved into the highest level of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's comprehensive classification of American higher education.

WMU joins just three other Michigan universities, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University in Carnegie's new "Doctoral/Research Universities- Extensive" classification. The new Carnegie classification system is the foundation's first official reclassification since 1994. The data was released in the Aug. 7 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

"This is a huge compliment to our faculty and everyone associated with the research, teaching and scholarship at Western Michigan University," said WMU President Elson S. Floyd of the Carnegie placement. "It is a validation of the entire University community's dedication to the goal of academic excellence."

According to the Carnegie Foundation, WMU's new classification describes "institutions that offer a wide range of baccalaureate programs and are committed to graduate education through the doctorate." Those institutions included in the classification award 50 or more doctoral degrees per year across at least 15 disciplines.

The new Carnegie classification system is a complete revision of the foundation's previous system that since 1970 has grouped American colleges and universities according to their academic missions. A total of 3,856 institutions are included in the Carnegie listing with just 148, or 3.8 percent, included in the top classification. Of that 148 only 90 are public universities.

WMU previously was listed as Michigan's only public Carnegie Doctoral I university, with MSU, Michigan and WSU categorized as Research I institutions. The new system focuses on research, teaching and service and combines the former Research I and II and Doctoral I and II categories into two broad categories called Doctoral/Research Universities-Extensive and Doctoral/Research Universities-Intensive. Those in the "intensive" classification award fewer doctoral degrees in fewer disciplines than those in the "extensive" grouping.

WMU offers 25 doctoral degree programs and awarded 52 doctoral degrees during the 1998-99 academic year and 55 during the 1999-2000 academic year.

The University joins just 19 other Doctoral I schools around the nation that were moved into the top grouping. Others include Boston College, the University of Alabama, Loyola University of Chicago and Georgia State University.

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 616 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400