Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) August 11, 2009 -
As a new class of eager high school seniors begins the college admissions process, with the effects of the shaky economy still looming as a big question mark, a new study reveals what Americans consider to be the defining characteristics of a great university.
According to a substantial majority, "renowned faculty" and a "top-rank research center" are what make a university great.
That's the principal finding of a new nationwide survey conducted July 21-23 by IP Advocate (http://www.IPAdvocate.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to academic researchers' rights. In association with Chicago market researcher Synovate, IP Advocate asked 1,000 Americans to rank the importance of five factors in what makes for a great university: "large endowment," "quality athletic program," "top-rank research center," "diverse student body" and "renowned faculty."
More than one-third of Americans (35 percent) chose renowned faculty as the most important criteria. Another one-third (34 percent) of the population said a top-rank research center is what makes a university great.
In third place, at 19 percent, is a diverse student body. Seven percent of respondents chose a quality athletic program, and 5 percent said large endowment.
"Americans' high regard for faculty and research reveals the value we place on exploration and innovation at the university level," said Dr. Renee Kaswan, founder of IP Advocate, former research professor at the University of Georgia and inventor of the billion-dollar drug Restasis®. "Imagine how invigorated our country's pursuit of innovation would be if our news reports covered research discoveries as enthusiastically as they do college football, or if faculty appointments got as much play as Wall Street CEOs. The public has a huge stake in how our universities function - many are supported at least in part by our tax dollars, and we all benefit from a quality educational system."
Renowned faculty and top-ranked research center were consistently the two top choices across nearly every demographic breakdown, although they alternated between first and second position like a see-saw; for example, the younger set ranked research first while the older set favored faculty.
The only exception in the top two was in the racial breakdown: for non-white respondents, a diverse student body was the second most popular choice for the leading position; research center was at the top.
Among the survey's major findings:
About IP Advocate
IP Advocate (http://www.IPAdvocate.org) is a non-profit organization that educates and empowers faculty researchers on patent rights and the process of commercialization - helping inventors protect their rights during the complex process of getting their invention from the lab to the people who need it. IP Advocate is a rich resource of information and best practices related to the commercialization of intellectual property. The organization was founded by Dr. Renee Kaswan, inventor of the billion-dollar drug Restasis® and a former research professor at the University of Georgia; and is led by executive director Rhaz Zeisler, a recognized international interactive media brand strategist, and former Walt Disney producer and IBM creative executive. IP Advocate is a 501(c)(3) organization, based in Atlanta.