Flagship Peer Group

The thirteen universities that constitute our peer group emerged from careful review of all higher education institutions and from narrowing down that broad cohort to those that are truly comparable: public universities with a land grant mission, Carnegie Research designation as Very High Research Activity, without a medical school, and located in the Midwest or South.i Those that surfaced are as follows, with an asterisk (*) denoting members of the Association of American Universities.ii


Colorado State University
Iowa State University*
Mississippi State University
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Purdue University*
Texas A&M University*
University of Arkansas
  University of Georgia
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign*
University of Maryland-College Park*
University of Nebraska at Lincoln*
University of Tennessee
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


i The presence of a medical school often with attendant hospital institutions skews the comparative data, especially on such dimensions as grants, contracts, other income, and salaries.  The exclusion of the East/Northeast and West Coast reflects the regional bias respectively: of the former toward private institutions and of the latter with the massive University of California system.
iIUniversities that are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) are considered the leading research universities. There are only 63 members including two from Canada.