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March 20, 2008

Pitt ranked among top public research schools

For the second consecutive year, Pitt ranks in the uppermost tier of U.S. public research universities, according to “The Top American Research Universities,” the recently issued 2007 annual report of the Center for Measuring University Performance.

The report again places Pitt in the company of six other public research universities: University of California-Berkeley, UCLA, University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In the report, the center clusters research universities by assessing their performance on nine different measures: total research and development expenditures; federally sponsored research and development expenditures; endowment assets; annual giving; National Academies members; significant faculty awards; doctorates granted; postdoctoral appointees, and median SAT scores. Tables in the report group research institutions according to the number of times they rank among the top 25 universities in these nine categories. The uppermost tier comprises those universities that rank in the top 25 in all nine categories.

The report’s co-editors —John V. Lombardi, president of the Louisiana State University System, and Elizabeth C. Capaldi, executive vice president and university provost of Arizona State University — described research universities as “highly competitive enterprises,” saying that “those with the highest performance are successful in almost everything they do.”

In commenting on the University’s performance, Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg stated: “This re-affirmation that Pitt is performing at the very highest levels across a broad range of important measures is a tribute to the talent and ambition that characterize the people of this community.

“Pitt’s inclusion in the very top cluster of America’s top public research universities in last year’s edition of this report was testimony to the seriousness of our commitment to quality in everything that we do. Our inclusion in that top cluster for a second consecutive year is especially gratifying because the competition is keen and other universities are constantly improving.”

In the center’s inaugural 2000 study, Pitt was in the fourth cluster of public universities, ranking among the top 25 public universities in six of nine categories.

As was explained in the introduction to that first study, although the center evaluates public and private universities in the same way, it also presents their performance separately “because the public and private research universities operate in significantly different contexts by virtue of their governance and funding structures.”

In January 2007, the Center for Measuring University Performance moved from the University of Florida, where it had been founded, to Arizona State University.

The preparation and publication of the annual report now are based at ASU.

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