Montana State University

Mountains and Minds: Learners and Leaders

A student works on scientific research

Discovery

Innovative and significant research and creative activities distinguish the 21st century university and are a recognized hallmark of MSU, where faculty, students and staff all participate in the creation of knowledge and art. 

Goal:  
MSU will raise its national and international prominence in research, creativity, innovation and scholarly achievement, and thereby fortify the university's standing as one of the nation's leading public research universities.

MSU’s standing in the top tier of research institutions is hard won every day by the talented faculty, students, and staff who create knowledge and art, apply new insights to critical issues, and communicate the impacts of their discoveries throughout the world. These discoveries advance the state of the art, provide concrete improvements to daily life, enhance undergraduate and graduate education, drive economic development, and contribute to a thriving community.

MSU has been recognized for its research and creative contributions with a Carnegie Classification in the Research Universities/Very High Activity (RU/VH) class, yet it has one of the smallest faculties and student bodies in the 108-university group. MSU’s reputation as a research and creative force must be solidified so that the best scholars continue to choose MSU to study, work, and address the tough problems of tomorrow.

Sustaining this prominence requires recruiting, retaining, and recognizing talented faculty, students, and staff, developing and maintaining the appropriate infrastructure, and training the next generation of scholars and artists. In achieving this goal, MSU continues to advance knowledge and improve society, while solidifying its reputation for excellence in research and creativity, enhancing its faculty’s prominence and strengthening its graduate programs, particularly at the doctoral level.

Evidence:

MSU is recognized for excellence in research and creative activity:

  • MSU’s research expenditures regularly surpass $100 million annually ($112.3M for FY12).
  • Faculty members at MSU achieve national and international reputations as influential leaders in their disciplines
  • MSU faculty are tapped to serve on national boards and committee service- such as Farmer Mac, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business. 
  • MSU faculty, staff, and students are noticed in the nation’s media, with appearances in Scientific American, Time, Popular Science, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today, and on MSNBC, NPR’s Morning Edition, and the Discovery Channel, among other high-profile references.