Wednesday, May 8, 2019

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – MAY 8, 2019 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was recently elevated to the second-highest classification of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 

UTRGV is now in the classification of Doctoral Universities – High Research Activity (R2), the highest level ever attained by a university in the Rio Grande Valley. In addition, UTRGV is one level away from the highest classification of Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity (R1), often referred to as Carnegie Tier One. 

“This new classification is another example of how UTRGV’s profile and reputation continue to rise,” president Guy Bailey said. “I am very proud of our elevated classification because it reflects the hard work and commitment of our students, faculty and staff, and the immeasurable support from our community.”

The Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past four and a half decades. Starting in 1970, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education developed a classification of colleges and universities to support its program of research and policy analysis. This framework has been widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students, or faculty. The next classification update is expected in 2021.

To be classified as an R2 institution, UTRGV awarded at least 20 research/scholarship doctoral degrees last year and had at least $5 million in total research expenditures as reported through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Higher Education Research & Development Survey (HERD).

UTRGV is one of 135 U.S. institutions – 91 of which are public institutions – classified as R2. Nine are from Texas, including Baylor, SMU, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Kingsville, TCU, Texas Southern, Texas State and UT San Antonio. 

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.