Teacher-Scholar: The Journal of the State Comprehensive University


State comprehensive universities (SCUs) and their faculty members often suffer from status envy. They desire greater attention from students, the public, and, most of all, from peers or perceived peers at other universities. For some universities, this status envy leads to changes in mission that result in moving up the perceived hierarchy represented in the Carnegie Foundation’s categorization of colleges and universities. At the top of that hierarchy are the institutions where disciplinary research is viewed as the most important activity. Over the past three or four decades, several dozen SCUs moved into one of the Carnegie doctoral or research university categories. Presumably the members of those university communities expected a change in their relative status. This paper addresses two questions: (a) are the changes in Carnegie classifications made by these universities associated with changes in faculty behavior, specifically, increases in actual research publications by their faculties?; and (b) is there evidence that the changes in classification are related to subsequent increases in recognition and prestige?