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CAHNRS Makes Top 10 (Again)

Posted by | November 26, 2007

As many of you may have heard, we recently received some great news about the scholarly productivity of several agricultural programs at WSU. Academic Analytics conducted a comprehensive assessment of scholarly productivity for 375 universities nationwide who offer the PhD degree. These ranking were published in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Rather than using a single metric (e.g., citations) for a single year, their ranking system employs several measures of research productivity over multiple years. The ranking incorporates refereed articles, citations, federal extramural funds, and major national awards.

The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources had 5 of the 8 programs at WSU achieving a top-10 designation! Plant sciences was rated 2nd in the nation. In addition, Agronomy and Crop Sciences was ranked 7th, Horticulture was ranked 8th, Food Science was ranked 6th, and Animal Sciences was ranked 4th.

Two things often happen when these type of rankings are released. First, those left out try to poke holes in the selection criteria. Second, there is a tendency to try to dissect the ranking to identify who contributed most to the ranking. I will do neither. Everyone involved in the five programs listed should take great pride in this outcome. These ranking are truly reflective of a team effort, involving all faculty, staff and students. Faculty who are primarily involved in teaching or extension efforts should share in the credit, as their efforts contribute both directly and indirectly to research output.

This news could not have come at a better time. The recently initiated university program prioritization process will place considerable weight on a unit’s ranking among its peers. In addition, President Elson Floyd has identified agriculture and vet-med as his two highest priorities. He has chosen wisely. These rankings confirm that we can build upon these strengths to achieve greater prestige for the university as a whole.

Step back from your busy schedules for a moment and savor this news. You all are to be congratulated. These rankings are just a start; with outstanding faculty recently added and being added to both the plant and animal sciences, we should see even greater scholarly outcomes in years to come. Good things are happening – we are being recognized for excellence nationally, we are a priority within the university, and new resources are being added to our programs from state, federal and private sources. Thanks for making WSU and CAHNRS a great place to work!

Best regards and “Go Cougs,”

Dan Bernardo