Students represent one of the most important factors because they are future ambassadors that publicize the quality of their university during their professional career. Hence, procedures for selecting high-quality students is a critical component. University policy should be established to guarantee that student entrance exam scores via math and verbal testing are above the national average. Furthermore, excellent student applicants should be identified based on high-school graduating class rankings. The number of high school valedictorians (i.e., 1st ranked student in each graduating class) in each entering freshman class should be publicized. Also, the percentage of national merit scholars in each entering freshman class is a good indicator of student quality. Opportunities should exist for excellent students to work in research laboratories during their undergraduate career.
Faculty represent the heart of a university, so it is important to recruit high-quality candidates and retain the best faculty based on well-established guidelines for promotion and tenure. Graduate or post-graduate research experience outside of China should be an important consideration in the recruitment process. Strong consideration for faculty promotion and tenure should be based on (i) number and quality of scholarly publications, (ii) amount of externally funded research projects, and (iii) keynote and plenary lectures at national and international meetings. These metrics should be tabulated per faculty member per year for all university departments engaged in research. After a successful tenure and promotion process, important metrics for senior faculty should include those who have been elected to national academies in engineering and science. This is one of the most important award categories that will propel a university into an elite group of learning institutions. Faculty who have (i) written textbooks and (ii) received honorary degrees from other universities worldwide should be recognized for these accomplishments. Endowed chairs for faculty engaged in cutting-edge research is an important metric for any top-notch university. Other important faculty awards, such as (i) outstanding foundation winners at the national level, (ii) professors with national level talent titles, and (iii) distinguished teaching scholars provide recognition within China. Finally, faculty who devote time and effort to the science and engineering community as editors and editorial board members of national and international journals should be recognized for their service.
Administration: The most important consideration, here, is that administrators should provide resources and a stimulating intellectual environment for faculty to teach, train graduate students, and perform research effectively. It is beneficial if upper level administrators have served on standing committees at the local and national level because this activity might attract external support for key laboratories and university infrastructure.
Scholarships: Financial support from local and central government agencies is required to implement the mission of a university. Obviously, scholarships are necessary to provide opportunities for students at all levels: (i) undergraduate, (ii) graduate, and (iii) post-doctoral. Gifts from successful alumni will establish endowed chairs that can be leveraged to attract top-notch faculty with excellent records of accomplishment. Local and central government support should be available on a competitive basis to encourage faculty sabbaticals on a regular cycle (i.e., every 5-to-8 years after tenure is received). Faculty on sabbatical should be encouraged to visit distinguished laboratories and universities outside of China. First-level universities should welcome regular visits from foreign scientists and engineers for (i) seminars, (ii) research cooperations, (iii) graduate student guidance, and (iv) visiting professorships via competitive government programs.
Research equipment: This component is critical to support experimental research programs. Individual laboratory space per faculty member and central laboratory facilities available to all research groups on campus should be above the national average. Competitive government programs that support the (i) purchase of new equipment, and (ii) state key laboratories should be documented and publicized because these programs could be one of the deciding factors that influence exceptionally talented faculty recruits to choose Qingdao University as a home to pursue research excellence.
巴菲奥（L. A. Belfiore）：青岛大学杂化材料研究院“外专千人计划”国家特聘专家、教授，本文翻译：杨兰兰。