Michigan Tech Faculty Rated Among the Most Productive in the Nation

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Michigan Technological University's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science faculty ranked first in the nation for their scholarly productivity during 2006-2007, according to a report released in the November 16, 2007 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Michigan Tech's Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences faculty productivity ranked sixth among 375 research universities that grant Ph.D.s, and Michigan Tech overall ranked in the top 20 research universities specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

"It's really great to see this recognition of the efforts of our faculty," said Glenn D. Mroz, president of Michigan Tech. "Compared to many surveys that focus on input from others, this focuses on accomplishments and quantifies reputation based on citations, which is truly the measure of how people regard the work of scholars."

The rankings in 173 disciplines take into account the number of professors in the program, the number of books and journal articles they published, the number of times others cited them, and the awards, honors and grant dollars they received. The scholarly productivity index is compiled by Academic Analytics, a for-profit company partially owned by the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

The productivity index evaluated 18 faculty members in Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. It found that 94 percent of them published a journal article during the year, with an average of six articles per professor. The same percentage of faculty members was cited in another scholarly work, with an average of 43.5 citations per faculty member.

"I am very excited about the recognition that rankings such as this give our faculty (as well as our staff and students) at Michigan Tech," said Margaret R. Gale, dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. "The scholarly efforts these faculty are attaining reflect their passion for scientific inquiry as it relates to forest organisms and their commitment to communicating this information to others."

Half of the faculty members in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences had a journal publication during the year, and one-third of them were cited in another scholar's work.

In this year's faculty productivity index, Yale University's forestry faculty ranked second to Michigan Tech, and Michigan State University ranked third. Last year, Michigan Tech ranked fourth and Yale topped the list.

In geological and mining engineering, Pennsylvania State University topped the rankings. The University of Wisconsin-Madison was second, and the University of Oklahoma ranked third.

The faculty productivity index is designed to move evaluation of doctoral programs away from the reputational rankings done by the National Research Council, U.S. News & World Report and others. Still, they are only one indicator, academics say. Equally important are factors such as retention rates, the length of time it takes students to complete their Ph.D.s and the quality of their interaction with highly productive faculty, elements of graduate education that can be more difficult to evaluate.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.