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KNOXVILLE – The University of Tennessee earned a top research classification in the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s list of all U.S. colleges and universities.

UT was the only public university in Tennessee to earn the top classification of “Research University (Very High Research Activity).”

The classifications, while not a ranking system, give a snapshot of an institution’s overall profile in terms of its size, the breadth of its programs and the characteristics of its student body, according to the foundation’s Web site.

This year’s list is based on a new set of basic classifications. For institutions that grant doctoral degrees, the three options are Doctoral/Research University, Research University (High Research Activity) and Research University (Very High Research Activity).

Less than 50 percent of the doctoral-level public universities earned the Very High Research Activity classification; of all 4,321 college and universities examined, only 96 were listed in the Very High classification.

“Each year, the scope and magnitude of our research efforts grow. This designation is another sign of the growing momentum both in the lab and in the classroom,” said Chancellor Loren Crabtree. “The Carnegie classifications provide a definitive measure of our strong and growing research efforts.”

Classifications for research institutions are based on a wide variety of factors, including the amount of research and development funding in science and engineering, the number of non-faculty research staff and the number of doctoral degrees granted in certain fields.

The Carnegie system of classifying institutions is designed to effectively sort colleges and universities together in groups that will aid in comparing them for research.

Other Tennessee classifications included Vanderbilt University as Very High Research and the University of Memphis as High Research.



Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409,