Geography Program Excels in National Rankings

Feb. 22, 2010

UT Dallas’ Geography and Geospatial Sciences program ranked 16th nationally and first in Texas in a recent study of faculty scholarly productivity, beating out larger, longer-established programs at such schools as the University of California at Berkeley, Texas A&M University and Cornell University.

The ranking was based on research by Academic Analytics of Stony Brook, N.Y., which specializes in compiling and analyzing data on the productivity of university faculty. Institutions subscribe to the database to get objective rankings of their programs.

Academic Analytics compiles a Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, which measures the scholarly productivity of faculty using their book and journal publications, journal article citations, federally funded research grants and professional awards. Productivity indexes are based on the cumulative score of a program’s faculty compared against national standards within the discipline. The information is gathered for more than 200,000 faculty members representing 118 academic disciplines in more than 350 U.S. universities.

“This high ranking is only the latest evidence of UT Dallas’ growing reputation as a center for leading research,” said Dr. Brian Berry, dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS). “Our faculty not only excel at teaching students and preparing them for future careers, they also lead the way in advancing the rapidly growing field of geospatial sciences.”

The program’s faculty outranked their peers at other universities in such criteria as the number of journal articles published, the number of times their articles were cited and their success rate in securing funding for new research.

“Our faculty is exceptionally productive because they are extraordinarily skilled, highly motivated and have a passion for geospatial science,” said Dr. Denis Dean, professor and director of the Geography and Geospatial Information Sciences program. “We are also lucky to have good graduate students that work with our faculty in conducting the research that leads not only to the publications tracked by the Academic Analytics index, but also to the theses and dissertations that our students need to earn their degrees.”

With the school’s new bachelor’s degree in geospatial information sciences, Dean expects to incorporate undergraduates into the research process going forward.

“With the undergrads added to the mix, I’m hopeful that we’ll be even higher in these sorts of rankings in the future,” he said.

UT Dallas offers bachelor of science degrees in geography and geospatial information sciences; a master of science and a PhD in geospatial information sciences; and graduate certificates in geographic information systems and remote sensing.

The EPPS program was the first from Texas admitted to the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. It offered the first master of science in geospatial information sciences in Texas and organized the North Texas GIS Consortium. Its faculty members’ research is funded by the National Science Foundation and other major agencies and organizations.


Media Contact: Emily Martinez, UT Dallas, (214) 905-3049, emily.martinez@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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Brian Berry

   “Our faculty not only excel at teaching students and preparing them for future careers, they also lead the way in advancing the rapidly growing field of geospatial sciences,” said Dr. Brian Berry, dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.



 “Our faculty is exceptionally productive because they are extraordinarily skilled, highly motivated and have a passion for geospatial science,” said Dr. Denis Dean, professor and director of the Geography and Geospatial Information Sciences program  

Denis Dean

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