February 7, 2019

UNE joins prestigious club of 'doctoral' research universities

Photo / Jim Neuger
Photo / Jim Neuger
James Herbert, president of University of New England, announced this week that UNE has been classified a "doctoral university: high research activity" by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

About UNE

The University of New England is Maine's largest private university, with Maine campuses in Biddeford and Portland and an overseas one in Tangier, Morocco. The school is home to Maine's only medical and dental colleges, a variety of other inter-professionally aligned health care programs, and nationally recognized degree paths in marine sciences, the natural and social sciences, business, the humanities and the arts.

The University of New England has risen in the ranks of the nation's research universities, according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in its recently released 2018 update.

The classification system, widely regarded as the leading framework for categorizing accredited U.S. universities and colleges, placed UNE for the first time in the category of "Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity."

The reclassification puts UNE among 139 institutions with this status. It is one of only 10 institutions to advance from the "Master's Colleges and Universities: Larger Programs" category to "Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity" status, and the only one in New England to do so.

UNE President James Herbert attributed the elevation in rank to the growth and increasing integration of research and scholarship at the university.

"The reclassification of UNE by Carnegie is a testament to our commitment to high quality research as a key component of the institution," he said in a news release. "Our faculty members have done extraordinary work, often focusing their research on real-world problems that impact the region so that solutions can then be scaled to a larger, even global, level." He added that they've accomplished that by deeply involving undergraduates in their research.

Herbert told Mainebiz in a recent "On the Record" interview that his priorities for 2019 include taking team-based health education "to the next level" and looking at ways to expand UNE's world-class marine sciences programs.

And under UNE's new partnership with University of Maine School of Law signed last week, marine sciences undergraduate majors will be able to earn a law degree in six years rather than the usual seven, saving time as well as money.

To achieve the distinction of the "Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity" classification, a university must award a minimum of 20 research or scholarship doctoral degrees and invest at least $5 million a year in research expenditures.

The Carnegie Classification was developed by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education in 1970 to support its program of research and policy analysis. Before the newly released 2018 update, the classification was last revised in 2015.


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