It’s time once again to revisit why the hell I’d choose the Big Ten as the conference to follow for science and research stories. Besides the obvious reasons that I’m from Ohio, went to Ohio State and Indiana, and worked for Michigan State, there’s also the small fact that its the best conference for research.
Don’t believe me? Just ask the National Science Foundation and their annual report on how much money is being spent on research at each and every school in the country. True, just spending a lot of money doesn’t necessarily mean that the research is awesome, but just name me one example of a company that spends a ton of cash and also sucks at what it does.
In any case, as you might expect with the Federal government all tied up in knots, overall spending across the board was flat between 2011 and 2012 (yup, it takes a while to get all of these statistics in). And yet, most Big Ten schools saw a small increase in their annual R&D expenditures.
Let’s take a look at their standings:
- #2 – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – $1.322 billion
- #3 – University of Wisconsin, Madison – $1.169 billion
- #14 – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities – $826 million
- $18 – Pennsylvania State University – $797 million
- #19 – Ohio State University – $766 million
- #28 – Northwestern University – $631 million
- #32 – Purdue University – $602 million
- #33 – University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – $583 million
- #36 – Michigan State University – $507 million
- #42 – University of Iowa – $446 million
- #51 – University of Chicago – $419 million
Not too shabby, eh? Besides having two schools in the top three and five in the top 25, the Big Ten just barely misses out on having all of its schools ranked in the top 50. And if you’re wondering why the University of Chicago is on the list, check out my “Why the Big Ten” page listed up there on the blog’s header.
Some of you smart folks out there might have noted that I left out the University of Nebraska. Yes, they’re now a part of the Big Ten and yes, they have a good football team. But are they up to snuff when it comes to science?
- #83 – University of Nebraska, Lincoln – $253 million
In a word, nope.
What about next year’s class, with Rutgers and the University of Maryland bringing up the Big Ten to a weird total of 14?
- #45 – Rutgers University – $434 million
- #47 – University of Maryland – $433 million
Not too shabby. That’ll do.