The figures reflect FY2005 expenditures (the most recent available), and represent an 11% increase in spending over FY2004, when NU was ranked 33rd. Among all universities, the University of Nebraska also moved up significantly, from 49th to 44th. During the same fiscal year, NU brought in more than $176 million in external funding for research."This remarkable improvement reflects the high priority placed on research at the University of Nebraska," NU President James B. Milliken said. "Our strategic plan focuses on significantly increasing research and development, and this is evidence that we\'re making excellent progress. Moving up even one spot per year would be an accomplishment, given how competitive this ranking is. To move up six places in one year is significant."
Milliken praised Vice Chancellors Prem Paul at UNL and Tom Rosenquist at UNMC, whose campuses conduct the bulk of the university's research, for creating a climate that encourages and rewards excellence in research. "Prem and Tom have set goals on the campus that excellent faculty members continue to meet and exceed," Milliken said.
He added, "Success brings more success, and this dramatic improvement in our ranking is important to our efforts to recruit and retain top faculty. In addition, the research itself is of great significance to people throughout Nebraska and around the world. We are building a reputation as a leader in such areas as water use, transportation, alternative energy, agriculture and a wide range of medical areas including cancer research (especially breast cancer and lymphoma), organ transplantation, heart disease, diabetes, hemophilia and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's."
Milliken cited a number of research grants the university has received that have a potential impact on Nebraskans, including more than $21 million from the National Institutes of Health to support the Nebraska Virology Center, which is seeking cures for diseases caused by viruses, such as AIDS and avian flu; a $6.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a regional transportation research center; a $12.9 million NSF grant to a consortium of five universities led by UNL to study global warming; and nearly $6 million from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to a team of UNMC researchers studying medical conditions affecting veterans.
The National Science Foundation tables can be accessed here: www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf07318/content.cfm?pub_id=3767&id=2