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Pieces of Eight


ECU Programs in Top Ten

By Erica Plouffe Lazure

Two of ECUs Ph.D. programs have earned top ten rankings in a national Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index that appears in this month’s “Chronicle of Higher Education.”

The 2007 index, produced by Academic Analytics, compiles overall institutional rankings for faculty productivity for 375 universities that offer Ph.D. degrees. ECU’s kinesiology, exercise science and rehabilitation program (bioenergetics), housed in the Department of Exercise Science, ranked fourth in the nation. ECU’s communication sciences and disorders program, housed in the College of Allied Health Sciences, ranked ninth.

Chancellor Steve Ballard said, “I am delighted that our faculty members have received this national recognition. It is another indicator of the quality of our research strength as well as our commitment to making a difference in people’s lives.”

While the index lists nine members of ECU’s bioenergetics program – two from the Brody School of medicine’s physiology department – leaders credit the work of the entire exercise science department, about 35 faculty members, as well as the program’s interdisciplinary approach to research.

“Many people beyond the nine contribute to the success of this doctoral program,” said Glen Gilbert, dean of ECU’s College of Health and Human Performance. “Our partnership with physiologists at the Brody School of Medicine, as well as support from the Division of Graduate and Research Studies, has made it possible for this interdisciplinary program to receive such recognition.”

The scope of the research in the bioenergetics program examines the biological relationship between physical activity and common diseases, such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In the past year, faculty members from the College of Health and Human Performance have netted approximately $2 million in grants, including several from National Institutes of Health.

Established in 2000, ECU’s four-year Ph.D. program in bioenergetics has between 10 and 14 candidates. Joseph Houmard, director of the bioenergetics program, said he hopes the ranking will help the program to continue to attract top students.

“Getting the best students to your university is a very competitive affair these days, and this ranking will hopefully aid our program, as well as others in their recruiting efforts,” Houmard said.

Stephen Thomas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences, said he was proud of the 12-member research team and was pleased to see the national recognition of their hard work. Their research, he said, contributes not only to new knowledge and technology, but also helps improve the lives of many people.

This page originally appeared in the Dec. 7, 2007 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at