University of Hawaii Research: Delivering on Its Promise?

·By Katherine Poythress

Courtesy of the University of Hawaii


Do you believe research at the University of Hawaii can drive the growth of the state's economy? If so, why? If not, what's missing? Join the conversation.

  1. UH officials consider UC Davis a peer institution based on a list developed by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

  2. This amount is the sum of Hawaii general fund appropriations to UH Manoa, UH Hilo, UH West Oahu, the Small Business Development Center, Aquaria, Systemwide Support, debt service, retirement and health benefits. The state also appropriated an additional $32 million in federal dollars. Greenwood says she considers UH's budget to be closer to $358 million, because she doesn't include revenue for things like fringe benefits and debt service, which she says she doesn't really control. However all the other budgets evaluated by Civil Beat included those costs.

  3. We examined UH and the four other state universities against several traditional benchmarks used to gauge research productivity and impact. For the sake of simplicity, we narrowed our analysis down to three of the most familiar and telling benchmarks: 1. Publications: The number and significance of original observations published in peer-reviewed, international journals. We looked at the number of articles published in the journals Science and Nature, the widely-accepted gold standards for scientific research. We then took a broader view – the number of articles and publications indexed in Google Scholar's online search engine of scholarly literature. We also determined the number of publications appearing in PubMed, an exhaustive listing of biomedical literature. We then considered the quality of research publications through the rankings of the Higher Education and Accreditation Council of Taiwan, which uses an array of bibliometric methods to analyze and rank the performance of world’s universities according to the number of scientific publications and their impact. 2. Federal Grants: Many of the costs of university research are covered by federal grant funding. The National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health are primary funders of scientific research at U.S. universities. 3. Faculty Stature: Finally, we looked at the overall quality of the faculties by determining membership in the National Academies — the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine. These are honorific societies of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific, engineering, and health research. Members are elected in recognition of their distinguished achievements; it is one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or clinician.

  4. For our analysis, we included in our calculations the amount of federal money that states appropriated to each of the universities.