ISU Magazine

Volume 41 | Number 2 | Spring/Summer 2011

Moonlit Tree

Moonlit Tree: the beauty of freshly fallen snow resting on the branches of a tree on campus.

Photo by ISU Photographic Services/Susan Duncan

Spring 2011 Issue

Idaho State University was recently classified as Research University-High by the Carnegie Foundation. ISU is only one of 98 institutions in the country in this prestigious group.

This classification is second only to the highest category Research University-Very High, with 108 universities holding this elite designation. Combined, these two research categories represent less than 5 percent of the nation's 4,663 institutions of higher education.

Every six or seven years, the Foundation assesses all institutions of higher education in the United States and publishes the Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education. For many years, ISU has been listed as a DRU, or Doctoral Research University. This classification is one level above Master's L (Master's Colleges and Universities), such as Boise State University, and one level below RU-H (Research University-High), such as the University of Idaho.

"The gold standard of university ratings is the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching," said ISU President Arthur C. Vailas. "The designation of Research University-High is a great distinction for ISU and a real testament to our excellent faculty and staff. I am very proud of our faculty, as they have dedicated themselves to research and teaching and the results of that effort have been recognized by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation designation."

This new distinction has many material consequences for ISU. According to ISU Provost Gary A. Olson, "ISU will enjoy more prestige nationally in the eyes of those in higher education and the state, too, will benefit by being able to boast that it now supports two RU-H institutions."

Because Carnegie is the standard of university performance and a measure of its competitiveness, attaining this distinction is a sign of ISU's growing institutional maturity. The university's new status puts Idaho State University in some very good company. Only about 100 hundred institutions have this designation, including Auburn, Baylor, Boston College, Clemson, Fordham and Kent State universities.

In the West, ISU is in the company of New Mexico State, Utah State, and Northern Arizona universities.