- The latest rankings from the National Science Foundation of the institutions with the highest research and development expenditures over 2016 found Johns Hopkins University at the top of the list.
- Four public universities — the University of Michigan, University of Washington, and the Universities of California at San Francisco and San Diego — rounded out the top-five.
- Of the top 25 in the country, 14 schools jumped by at least one spot in the annual rankings.
These are the kind of rankings that should matter more than lists produced by the US News and World Report, or the federal Department of Education, because they reflect activity that is limited in potential bias against smaller institutions or missions in a larger context of performance.
Taking these numbers to federal and state lawmakers can be an extraordinary help in making the case for potential pet projects and funding interests, all in the name of spurring regional growth in industry and innovation. They move, or should move, the meter far more for college leaders than graduation rates, which rarely predict economic impact beyond dollars spent by students and the faculty who teach them.