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Ball State touted for research even as funding drops

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Ball State University is enjoying a growing reputation as a research university even as it finds the competition for funding to maintain that work getting tougher.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has classified Ball State as a "high research university" for the first time, elevating it to a status shared in Indiana only by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. But university officials say the recession and increasing competition for funding have made it more difficult to obtain the money needed to sustain such research.

"Our country has gone through difficult economic times, including Washington, and they're the ones who dole out the dollars," said Robert Morris, a chemist and associate provost for research and dean of the graduate school.

Ball State saw a nearly $4 million drop in external money received for research, public service, instruction, academic support and institutional support during 2010. The decline came after a record year in 2009 brought in $26.1 million.

Morris told The Star Press that university officials aren't worried. Ball State faculty submitted more than 650 proposals for external funding in 2010.

"Ball State is an exciting place to be," he said. "We expect continued, strong performance. This is not an institution that gets depressed or discouraged. This institution does not do that. People here think positively."

But he acknowledged that the lagging economy will make it difficult for Ball State to reach a goal of $45.2 million in external funding by 2012.

Nearly 100 schools nationwide are classified as high research universities.

Three Indiana schools — Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame — are among the nation's 108 "very high research" universities, according to the Carnegie Foundation.

Mei Zhao, who directs the classifications, said they allow researchers to compare institutions. They do not rank the quality or importance of the research being done, she said.

Ball State's research in 2010 included work to preserve an ecosystem in the Mojave Desert that is home to an endangered fish called the Devil's Hole pupfish, an effort to reduce high rates of shin splints among military recruits and work to improve higher education in Iraq.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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