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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Research activity reaches new level at New Mexico State University

Research activity at New Mexico State University reached a new level in fiscal year 2000-01, with expenditures on grants and contracts totaling $135.7 million.

ure is an increase of 4.5 percent over the previous year's total of $129.8 million.

Gary Cunningham, vice provost for research, said the increase reflects a high level of research and public service activity by the university's faculty.

"In a climate where federal funding for research remains relatively flat, and competition for research funding is growing more intense, to show an increase like this is reflective of the incredibly good efforts of our faculty," he said.

Cunningham said about 85 percent of the funding for research and public service projects comes from sources outside of New Mexico -- federal agencies, corporations and foundations -- and much of it is spent in the state on salaries and the purchase of equipment and materials.

NASA, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy are the university's largest federal funding sources.

Research and public service grants and contracts make up more than 40 percent of the university's total operating budget, Cunningham said.

He said the high level of research activity benefits New Mexico State University students in several ways.

"For one thing, some of this funding goes directly into student stipends and student aid, and direct employment on research projects," he said. "But also, a strong research program affects the quality of education the students receive, because the faculty are actually generating new knowledge. The students learn how to create and evaluate knowledge."

A significant portion of research funding is used to purchase new equipment that is used for educational as well as research purposes, he added.