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FRANKFORT — Kentucky State University (KSU) is defying a national trend and climbing its way up the national rankings in higher education research and development.

According to the recently published National Science Foundation (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development Survey, KSU ranks 375th out of 640 institutions reporting research expenditures. KSU’s ranking has climbed eight positions from the previous year when it ranked 383rd.

Our dedicated faculty and staff have done an exceptional job of advancing our goals as a Land Grant Comprehensive HBCU. We plan on advancing these efforts to move farther up in these rankings.

The NSF survey shows funding for research and development in higher education has declined by 1.7 percent between the fiscal year 2014 and fiscal year 2015. KSU research and development expenditures increased six percent in the same period.

“This is another example of the direction that KSU is going,” Dr. Aaron Thompson, interim president at KSU, said. “Our dedicated faculty and staff have done an exceptional job of advancing our goals as a Land Grant Comprehensive HBCU. We plan on advancing these efforts to move farther up in these rankings.”

“The impacts of this funding are experiential learning opportunities for students in both applied and basic research, offsets to university costs for salaries and wages for faculty and student research assistants, software purchases, equipment purchases and indirect costs,” Derrick Gilmore, director of office research, grants and sponsored programs at KSU, said.

“The increase in investment means internally our faculty are doing a great job in creating opportunities for grants that have a research base,” Gilmore said. “At the same time, the university administration, which includes human resources, purchasing, and grant accounting, are doing a good job of making sure we’re good stewards of those funds by actually expending those grant funds and making sure that things are invoiced and bills are paid.”

Among state institutions reporting, KSU ranks fourth out of eight. KSU is one of the three institutions in the state with increased expenditures in research and development. Murray State University saw a 14 percent increase while the University of Kentucky increased by one percent. KSU expended more than Murray State, Northern Kentucky University, and Morehead State University, all of which have larger enrollments.

Among 1890 Land Grant institutions, KSU was one of six schools to see an increase in research and development expenditures. It ranked 66th out of 202 reporting institutions for expenditures in agricultural science.

Among 49 reporting historically black colleges and universities, KSU ranked 30th.

“That puts us in the same company as schools like Morehouse, Norfolk State, Texas Southern. In most cases, when we look at their enrollment, it is vastly greater than ours,” Gilmore said. “I’m sure they have quite a bit more faculty as well.”

KSU reported $6,017,000 in expenditures for the survey time period. It is the only institution in the Commonwealth that “data indicates a positive percentage change when comparing 2010 to 2015,” according to Gilmore.

“I’m proud that as we see a national trend and statewide trend show a decrease in the overall research expenditures for institutions, K-State is moving forward and we’re actually moving in a positive direction,” he said.


Kentucky State University, building on its legacy of achievement as a historically black, liberal arts, and 1890 Land Grant University, affords access to and prepares a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students to compete in a multifaceted, ever-changing global society by providing student-centered learning while integrating teaching, research and service through high-quality undergraduate and select graduate programs. Located in Frankfort, Kentucky, KSU offers associate (two-year) degrees in two disciplines, baccalaureate (four-year) degrees in 24 disciplines, master’s degrees in eight disciplines, and one advanced practice doctorate in Nursing. KSU has 129 full-time instructional faculty members and more than 1,700 students.