Sep 102008
 
Authors: Chelsea Cushing

Although federal research and development funding is at an all-time low, CSU set a new record for research spending this year, allocating more than $300 million to research programs at the university.

The increase in spending reflects a national trend among public universities to become more competitive in research and marketing initiatives.

The $302.6 million CSU is spending in research and development shows an increase of 35 percent since 2004. And from 2007, the university increased spending by $6.6 million.

“Faculty was very successful in receiving federal research grants this year,” said Hank Gardner, associate vice president for Research. “There are a lot of important issues that face our society, such as the search for alternative fuels, and with this money, CSU can further research programs.”

Faculty submitted 1,924 proposals for external competitive funding this year — about $739 million — rising seven percent since last year, a record for the number for proposals submitted at CSU.

“The funding assists CSU in its mission to take on the most pressing global issues . disseminate new knowledge, promote economic development, educate Colorado residents and those from around the Country and World,” said Kathi Delehoy, associate vice president for Research Administration, in an e-mail message to the Collegian.

Most of the expenditures — 71 percent — were from federal grants. The largest were:

$61.1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture

$54.2 million from Health and Human Services and

$30 million from National Science Foundation.

State, foundation or commercial support provided 14 percent, and the other 15 percent is provided by the university’s general fund, which comes from tuition, student fees and state money.

The College of Engineering, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Warner College of Natural Resources received the most research money — more than $50 million each. Other colleges received smaller amounts.

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates donated the money to the CVMBS for research in vaccines, controlling mechanisms and cures for disease, focusing on global diseases like tuberculosis and dengue fever.

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated money for infectious disease research,” Gardner said. “They were interested in outreaching to different programs, and CSU’s tuberculosis research is internationally known.”

Delehoy said that, with more money than in past years, the CSU community can look forward to new opportunities and discoveries provided by this research.

“It enriches the student learning experience through laboratory and classroom experiences based on the very latest discoveries and technologies,” she said.

“It enables the development of shared equipment and research facilities that serve active projects, training, and outreach. It’s an important component to recruiting the finest faculty, students, and postdocs to CSU.”

Staff writer Chelsea Cushing can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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