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WSU international business program among nation’s best

By Sue McMurray, Carson College of Business

business-abroad-80PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Carson College of Business is one of the best 100 business schools in the nation as noted by recent U.S. News & World Report rankings.Continue reading

WSU plant, animal scientists ranked 13th internationally

PULLMAN – Plant and animal scientists at Washington State University are among the most productive and most impactful in the world, according to rankings recently released by Thomson Reuters.
In its “Essential Science Indicators,” the business and professional information gathering company ranked WSU 13th in the world and sixth in the United States based on the number of journal articles produced by faculty scientists, but more importantly, on the number citations those articles generated. From January 1999 to June 2009, WSU researchers produced 2,473 scientific papers, which garnered 32,544 citations by other scientists.
“This ranking is by citations per paper among those institutions that have collected 25,000 or more citations in plant and animal sciences,” according to the company. “The ranking by citations per paper seeks to reveal heavy-hitters based on per paper influence, not mere output.”
That reflects the quality and scope of plant and animal science being conducted at WSU in the colleges of science, veterinary medicine and agricultural, human, and natural resources sciences, said Howard Grimes, WSU vice president for research.
“The fact that the science we’re producing is foundational to other work being done around the globe is especially important,” he said. “This speaks volumes about the kind of inquiry we’re tackling.”
Essential Science Indicators lists institutions ranked in the top 1 percent for a field over a given period, based on total citations. For the current version, 887 institutions are listed in the field of plant and animal sciences. Of those, just 40 collected 25,000 or more citations.
Other institutions in the Top 20 include University of California Berkeley, University of Washington, Cornell University, Purdue University and Iowa State University, as well as institutions from the United Kingdom, France, Japan and Germany.

Headlines — Guns for faculty?; College ranking debate

Following are links to several recent media articles regarding WSU faculty and staff, or addressing issues in higher education. To see a full article, just click on the live URL link.

* — Profs may get guns. The Nevada Board of Regents has endorsed a plan that would allow some faculty and staff members to carry concealed guns on public-college campuses and to become reserve police officers. See

* (audio podcast) —  ‘U.S. News’ editor vs. Critic of college rankings in debate. Click on the following link to listen to the debate,

* Columbian (Vancouver, WA) — Incoming WSU president hits the ground running; Elson Floyd talks about future changes at WSU,

Survey ranks WSU plant, animal scientists among top in nation

PULLMAN– Washington State University scientists conducting research on plants and animals are among the most productive in the nation, according to a survey measuring faculty scholarly productivity published recently in The Chronicle for Higher Education.
WSU plant scientists were ranked the fifth most productive in the United States. WSU’s zoology program ranked No. 10 in the nation. The rankings place WSU plant scientists and zoologists in the very top tier of the approximately 7,300 doctoral programs around the country evaluated in the survey.
“This honor truly recognizes the breadth and depth of our plant science and zoology programs,” said James Petersen, WSU vice president for research. “Ranging from basic research in plant molecular sciences through the field application of new discoveries, these teams benefit science, Washington agriculture, energy and human health.”
Overall, WSU plant scientists ranked second in terms of number of journal articles published per faculty member in the category (only Berkeley ranked higher in that area) and third in the percentage of faculty whose work was cited by another work.
Ralph Cavalieri, associate dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and director of the Agricultural Research Center, said, “This ranking confirms the quality, energy and intellect of our plant science faculty.”
Michael Griswold, dean of the WSU College of Sciences, agreed. “Research in the plant sciences is clearly a strength at WSU and in the College of Sciences,” he said.
Cavalieri and Griswold emphasized that many have contributed to the overall success of WSU plant sciences programs and cited several examples of work by plant science faculty at WSU that have had global impact.
In CAHNRS, Professor Norman G. Lewis, director of WSU’s interdisciplinary Institute for Biological Chemistry, focuses much of his research on how land-based plants, those with a structural vascular apparatus, produce lignins. While lignins help give plants and trees rigidity, they must also be broken down or eliminated in order to use them for production of paper, fuel and other bioproducts.
Professor John Browse researches the bioengineering of plants ­ such as soybeans, canola and flax ­ to produce oils with lower levels of saturated omega-6 fatty acids, while increasing levels of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Related research also focuses on engineering plants to produce more sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels and petrochemicals.
Professor Kulvinder Gill, the Vogel Chair for Wheat Breeding and Genetics, is working to better understand the wheat genome and manipulate it for crop improvement using modern techniques and tools. His team already has provided unequivocal evidence that most wheat genes are present in physically small regions encompassing less than 10 percent of the genome.
In the College of Sciences, Professor Gerald Edwards works on the effects of environmental stress and global climate change on carbon acquisition and usage in photosynthesis of higher plants, with current research focusing on a novel type of photosynthesis. The recently discovered mechanism may be instrumental in engineering crops, such as rice, to produce greater yields, especially under climate changes occurring with global warming.

Associate Professor Mechthild Tegeder is interested in how pea, soybean and other plants acquire, distribute and use nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient to plant growth and survival but also for production of seeds with high amounts of nutritional proteins. One goal is to generate crop plants or plant products of enhanced protein quality for human food.
The WSU Zoology program was ranked No. 10 among the rated schools in research productivity. The Zoology program is housed in the School of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences.

“We are especially pleased to be recognized for our research productivity,” said Gary Thorgaard, director of the school, “given that our unit is also very active and successful in teaching and student advising. Research contributions of our younger faculty have been particularly notable.
“Our research and teaching efforts are closely linked,” Thorgaard added. “Our faculty members have been very successful in obtaining support from the National Science Foundation, including major research equipment grants and grants for cooperative training and instructional projects such as projects for training graduate students in biological and cultural evolution together with the WSU Department of Anthropology, and for training undergraduates in mathematical biology together with the Department of Mathematics.” 

The survey, published in The Chronicle, is based on results of the Faculty Scholarly Productivity index, a new, annual index of research programs.

Partly financed by the State University of New York at Stony Brook and produced by for-profit Academic Analytics, the survey rates faculty members’ scholarly output at nearly 7,300 doctoral programs around the country. It examines the number of book and journal articles published by each program’s faculty as well as journal citations, awards, honors and grants received. The most recent index is based on data from 2005.

Find the study online at



Cougs ranked 14th in both national polls

The Washington State Univerity men’s basketball team is ranked 14th in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today national polls announced Monday, Feb. 5.

The rankings in the AP poll equals the highest by the Cougars (19-4, 8-3 Pacific-10) in school history. Washington State was ranked 14th, by the Associated Press Jan. 25, 1949.

Washington State has appeared in the AP poll four different weeks this season, the most in school history. The Cougars have been ranked the last three weeks, also a first in school history. WSU was ranked for three weeks in 1948-49 and 1949-50, but not in succession.

The Cougars are coming off road wins at Arizona and Arizona State and will host Stanford (No. 25 Associated Press), Thursday at 7 p.m. California will be in Pullman to take on the WSU at 2 p.m., Saturday.

See related articles:

* Seattle P-I,

* Seattle Times,