MANHATTAN — The U.S. National Research Council has ranked Kansas State University’s department of plant pathology as the No. 1 plant pathology department in the nation.
The council’s most recent Ranking of Plant Sciences Graduate Schools lists the university’s plant pathology department at No. 10 nationally among 162 plant sciences departments. Kansas State University’s department is the top plant pathology department on the list. As such, it ranks ahead of plant pathology departments at Cornell University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of California-Davis and Texas A&M University.
“This prestigious ranking reflects the enormous global impact of the basic and applied research being done by an extraordinarily diverse group of talented faculty, staff and students during a period of years to increase the quantity, quality and safety of domestic and international food supplies,” said John Leslie, university distinguished professor of plant pathology and head of the department.
A majority of the department’s faculty were hired as entry-level assistant professors. Retention of highly qualified junior faculty as they move through their careers is essential for building a department noted for its excellence, Leslie said. Less than 20 percent of all university faculty are hired at a level other than assistant professor.
“As a department, we bring in three to four times as much outside grant money every year as we receive from the state in support of our operations,” Leslie said. “Certainly our success and its recognition by the National Research Council is a critical step in achieving the university’s goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025.”
The rankings are based on department’s doctoral programs.