Seton Hall awarded ‘High Research Activity’ Carnegie classification

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Seton Hall University has been named a “High Research Activity” institution among doctoral universities in the latest Carnegie classification. The new research level designation, also known as “R2,” places Seton Hall among only 139 universities across the country designated as “High Research.”

Prior to this designation as R2, Seton Hall was classified as a “Moderate Research Activity” or “R3” university, placing it among the top 10 percent of all universities classified, but in the third tier.

Developed by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education in 1973, the Carnegie classifications have been used throughout higher education for nearly 50 years as the common descriptor for different types of public and private institutions. It is the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional strengths.

“This is just one more example that Seton Hall’s reputation is rising nationally,” interim President Mary J. Meehan said. “At Seton Hall there is a primary focus on the foundational and critically important liberal arts emphasis that is necessary to be a dynamic Catholic university and based on empirical data, the university again has been recognized for the world-class quality and quantity of its scholarship and research, as well as its expanding doctoral programs. From the liberal arts and education to health sciences, law and theology, each of Seton Hall’s schools and colleges have contributed to this success. This new classification reflects what great minds can do when we strive for academic excellence.”

The classifications for higher education institutions are: doctoral/research universities, master’s colleges and universities, baccalaureate colleges, baccalaureate/associate’s colleges, associate’s colleges and special focus institutions. Within these categories Carnegie classifies 4,424 higher education institutions in the United States that grant degrees.

Representing less than 10 percent of all colleges and universities, the “National Universities” category used in the U.S. News & World Report rankings is derived from the list of Carnegie classification doctoral/research universities and has been so since the inception of the U.S. News rankings in 1983. Since 2010, Seton Hall has moved up 17 places among this top tier of national research universities to 119 in the country.

In Carnegie’s doctoral/research universities category, there are three hierarchical designations: R1 for Very High Research Activity; R2 for High Research Activity; and R3 for Moderate Research Activity, now called “Doctoral Professional.” Less than 6 percent of all colleges and universities in the nation are designated R1 or R2.

The data used for the new classifications were from the 2016-17 academic year. The last update prior to this was in 2015, using data from the 2013-14 academic year. Since 2014, Seton Hall has received research funding and grants in excess of $30 million.

The criteria for the R2 and R1 groups are based on factors such as the number of research/scholarship doctorates awarded annually and a threshold of $5 million in research expenditures. Further criteria utilized in categorization, according to Carnegie, includes: research and development expenditures in science and engineering; research and development expenditures in non-science & engineering fields; science & engineering research staff — postdoctoral appointees and other non-faculty research staff with doctorates; doctoral conferrals in humanities, social science, STEM fields, and other fields such as business, education, public policy and social work.

“This R2 designation by Carnegie is a step in the right direction. Seton Hall has become a hub for groundbreaking research and scholarship and is firmly placed among the best Catholic universities in America,” said Nicholas H. Snow, founding endowed professor of chemistry and biochemistry and director of research at Seton Hall University. “Everywhere you look on our campuses, you can see students working alongside professors on cutting-edge research and scholarship. It is a new era at Seton Hall.”

Peter Shoemaker, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, agreed, “Seton Hall strives to be a leader among Catholic universities and is committed to supporting strong programs in liberal arts disciplines such as theology, philosophy, history, psychology and political science as well as the fine arts. Research by faculty in these disciplines complements inquiry in the sciences and professional fields by deepening and expanding our understanding of human experience and informing public debate.”