Student views of Hampton becoming a research U.

By Darrell Robinson

Universities such as Columbia, Harvard, Maryland, and Howard are all classified as research universities. Hampton University officials in September announced that it is applying to become a part of that list, and be the fifth HBCU [joining Howard, Clark-Atlanta, North Carolina A&T State and Jackson State] that is a research university.

What does this mean for Hampton students? Research universities tend to receive more money in grants from the federal government. This funding could be applied to case research, scholarships, and campus equipment.

A research university must offer a doctorate programs, and devote time to research. Hampton already offers a doctorate in a Philosophy in Nursing online, and plans to add a doctorate in Philosophy in Business Leadership and Administration and Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Management soon.

The Washington Monthly College Guide ranks HU No. 32 out of 551 universities that offer master degrees in 2010. The Daily Press reported that HU spent $26.9 million on research in 2009, and $31.9 million in 2010.

Depending on the research, schools may provide more internships to help with production.

Kimberly Rivers, a sophomore psychology major from Anchorage, Alaska, said, “Hampton becoming a research university is great because it makes our school look better. To say you graduated from a research university is a big deal.”

Though becoming a research center has garnered mostly positive feedback from some members of the student body there were other students who have concerns. “My only question is how this will affect our curriculums,” said Gabriel Eldridge, a sophomore English major from Laurel, Md.

Depending on one’s major students may be forced to conduct more research projects as a result of the school’s new status.

As a result of being a research university HU classes may be larger, and include more graduate assistants, because professors will be forced to spend more time doing research that they are required to do.

Andre Walker is currently a student at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md. Spring 2011 is to be his last semester at PGCC, and he is looking at Hampton to further his education as a biology major.

“I wouldn’t really care if classes had 60-plus students in them,” said Walker. “Sure it’s great to have an intimate setting to talk about things, but with my major, most of it will probably be lectures anyway.”

Walker also said that becoming a research university makes Hampton an even better choice for him: “Freshmen would hate it, but you would want that as an upperclassmen. To put on a resume that you did all this research, that’s great!”

HU has opened the largest proton therapy institute in the world and has been open and treating cancer patients, since August.

Senior public relations major Alexandria Harris worked as an intern at the institute last year, and saw first-hand all the things that are happening in that building.

“Save lives! That is what they are going to do,” said Harris. It is the seventh institute in the United States, the first at a HBCU. The institute is expected to do great things, and reach new heights in cancer treatment.

“It offers a lot of hope,” said Harris.

Hampton University has accomplished many feats in research. Most of the research being done should make a great impact amongst the world once completed. In the School of Science it has opened the first Skin of Color Research institute in the commonwealth of Virginia, advanced research on brachytherapy (radiation-based therapy for different types of cancers), and atmospheric parameters via satellite detection.

For a full list of what HU schools are researching, visit

The writer is a senior at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications