UW-Madison Ranking Dips As Research Spending Declines

For First Time In Nearly 45 Years, UW-Madison Not In Top Five
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UW Health (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has long been been among the top five nationally ranked research universities. However, this year, as research spending dropped, so did the university's ranking. UW-Madison went from fourth to sixth.

Marsha Mailick, UW-Madison's vice chancellor for research and graduate education, said the National Science Foundation ranking is "disappointing." Mailick said the state plays an indirect role in research by providing money that can be used to hire research faculty and infrastructure.

"Our peer institutions are investing heavily in hiring new faculty. At the same time we are potentially flat in terms of the number of faculty who are carrying out research here at the UW-Madison," she said. "We're not growing as fast as our peers."

Gov. Scott Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said in an email that UW-Madison is one the most well-funded universities in the nation and remains a "research powerhouse," adding UW-Madison improved its ranking this year in the U.S. News & World Report's listing of best institutions.

Evenson said Walker plans to invest more into the UW System in the next budget, tying such investment to performance-based metrics.

"His focus is to invest in the university in a way that enhances career-oriented instruction to help students and employers looking for jobs and workers in high demand fields," Evenson said.

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