Even as it was losing its stature as one of America’s top five research schools, the University of Wisconsin-Madison had begun lobbying aggressively for state funding to attract more of the kind of high-caliber faculty who drive the nation’s greatest research institutions.

The university’s campaign comes as data released in November showed it fell out of the top five U.S. research universities for the first time in 44 years.

UW-Madison slipped to sixth place overall, a seemingly small drop. But it was among only four universities in the National Science Foundation’s top 30 — and the only one among the top 10 — to report a decline in research and development spending in the last fiscal year. And its 3.6% single-year slide was the largest among the top 30, the NSF data showed.

The university also has declined in global rankings for the quality and quantity of scientific papers it is producing in six important disciplines: agriculture, clinical medicine, engineering, life sciences, natural sciences and social sciences. UW-Madison dropped to 28th in 2016 from 22nd in 2012 in rankings compiled by National Taiwan University, which annually evaluates the world’s top 500 universities. Read the full story here.