Why Run to R1?

Impact of the R1 Designation Explained

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  • Out of the almost 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, the Carnegie Foundation classifies less than 150 of them as having “very high research activity” – a category known as Research-1, R1. This designation is primarily a measure of the investments made in research by the public and private sectors in the university to support research conducted by the faculty and students.

    Texas State is well on its way to R1 designation. In the last 10 years, we have almost tripled our research expenditures. We will be approaching $100 million annually at the end of this year, and we are already in the top 20% of research universities in the nation.

  • We engage graduate and undergraduate students in research at every opportunity. Gaining hands-on research experience alongside faculty is incredibly rewarding and gives students a learning experience unlike any other.

    Our students already participate in cutting-edge research projects sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, and some of the nation’s top companies, like Meta (formerly Facebook), Dell, and Toyota. In our path to R1, students will have even more extraordinary learning experiences. They’ll develop new skills, be innovative, and successfully compete for jobs with graduates from the best institutions in the country.

    Quality teaching and passionate educators will always be a hallmark of the TXST experience for our students. We are proud of our beginnings as an institution focused on teaching and learning. We serve many first-generation college students, and we reflect the diversity of our state more than any other Texas university. Transforming the lives of generations of students is why we are here, and this spirit is imbued in all that we do, including research.

  • As an R1 institution, we will recruit and retain some of the best and brightest researchers and scholars in the world. Our faculty will engage with the select group of universities designated R1, and we will be answering calls from the Legislature, Congress and the public to solve the most pressing needs of society.

    In many ways, we have already created an R1 environment with R1 level faculty and scholars. Eighteen TXST faculty have won the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious research award for young faculty. Our Meadows Center is a statewide resource for policy makers working to protect water resources for future generations. Our ALERRT Center is recognized by the FBI as the leading expert in trainings for law enforcement to neutralize active threats.  Our Texas School Safety Center was created by the Legislature to protect schoolchildren statewide through research and training. Our Materials Application Research Center is developing faster, smaller chips for consumer electronics.

    It's not just science and engineering. TXST is home to faculty who are world-renowned in the arts, writing, creative expression, and humanities. Our faculty have won 11 Grammy awards. Celebrated authors and artists number among our faculty. All of these R1 level faculty are bringing their expertise into the classroom for the benefit of our students.

  • R1 universities are economic engines. Texas State leads in innovation and the economic development of Texas by creating new career paths and job opportunities. We are fortunate to be located in the Texas Innovation Corridor. As an R1 university, the private sector will want to engage in even more meaningful partnerships with us, and we will attract private investment from top companies in the United States to support our faculty and students. Already, our research park, STAR Park, is the largest lab-based technology incubator in the State of Texas, and there’s a waiting list for entrepreneurial start-up companies to move in.

    As a public research university, our mission is to facilitate learning, make new discoveries and engage with the community. This means that as Texas State empowers young entrepreneurs who go on to launch new businesses, which then in turn work with our faculty and students, our region grows in wealth and wellbeing.

  • Texas State has its sights set on achieving two goals: reaching the Carnegie Classification Doctoral University – Very High Research Activity (R1); and accessing the Texas National Research University Fund (NRUF), which is a pool of funds dedicated to assisting the Texas ERUs to achieve national prominence as major research universities.

    The Carnegie R1 classification is national, whereas NRUF-eligibility is relevant in Texas. NRUF-eligibility provides access to funds, whereas the Carnegie designation provides an elite status that's a catalyst for new partnerships and growth opportunities.

    The Carnegie classification requirements are based primarily on research expenditures, non-faculty research staff with Ph.D.s, and doctoral degrees conferred. However, metrics for being classified as an R1 are not as explicitly defined as NRUF requirements, and Carnegie metrics may evolve over the next few years. Achieving eligibility for NRUF distribution will mean that TXST has:

    • A robust research enterprise as indicated by at least $45 million in research expenditures
    • A healthy endowment of at least $400 million
    • Been recognized for its research capabilities & scholarly attainment
    • High-quality faculty 
    • High academic achieving students
    • High-quality graduate education

"Texas State has achieved remarkable research and enrollment growth over the years without losing our unique identity – without forgetting Texas State’s roots and values. And, without sacrificing the emphasis on quality teaching. Our goal cannot be to trade our teaching mission for our research mission. We must dedicate ourselves to the ideal that both are important, and create reward systems that acknowledge the value we place in both enterprises. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of focusing on STEM disciplines at the expense of the arts and humanities. A great university must have a great appreciation for a broad range of disciplines."

– Dr. Kelly Damphousse, President

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"Faculty members in every college at Texas State University are conducting research that influences people’s daily lives and relates to issues making news headlines around the world. We are committed to making a positive impact through innovative, multidisciplinary research. This is how we affect change for the better, by recognizing and overcoming tomorrow’s challenges, today. Texas State’s inclusion in the ranks of R1 research universities, among the most prestigous institutions in higher education, will be a powerful validation of our impact."

– Dr. Eugene Bourgeois, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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“The Bobcat way of combining research, education, and service will blaze a trail for other universities to follow. Texas State is an emerging research university with a great past and an even greater future. We have an amazing group of dedicated faculty scholars. We invest in research and education. We are proudly student-centered. Our students are front and center of everything we do, always.”

– Dr. Shreek Mandayam, Chief Research Officer

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