Friday, August 29, 2008

UCSB ranked 12 on national list


UC Santa Barbara continues to cultivate praise for its academic achievements, as the U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university number 12 in its annual listing of the “Top 50 Public Universities” and number 44 on its list of the “Best National Universities.”
Published this week, the September 1 issue of “America’s Best Colleges” profiles universities across the nation, ranking each institution under uniform guidelines including academics, faculty, campus life and campus accomplishments. Although private institutions generally dominate the “Best National Universities” list, UCSB was placed in a three-way tie with UC Davis and UC Irvine as number 44 in the nation – private institutions hold the top 20 spots in the report with three Ivy League schools, Harvard, Princeton and Yale on top with UC Berkeley ranked as the highest public university at number 21.

Despite UCSB’s stagnation amongst national universities public and private at number 44, the university’s rank amongst public institutions increased by one point from last year. UCSB’s elevated status was attributed in the magazine’s tables, according to UCSB Associate Vice Chancellor Paul Desruisseaux, highlighting increases in its scores for several areas.
“The magazine itself identifies some of the areas that why we had higher scores this year,” Desruisseaux said. “Graduation and retention rates, financial resources, faculty resources and alumni giving were among the areas where we saw higher scores.”
Colleges and universities around the nation are ranked by the U.S. News & World Report in separate categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. UCSB’s collegiate category, ‘national universities’, includes institutions which emphasize faculty research and offer a full load of undergraduate majors, M.A. and Ph.D programs.
In order to generate accurate data for the report, U.S. News & World Report collects data directly from colleges and universities. This year, the magazine reported 91.4 percent of the 1,476 colleges and universities it surveyed responded to the report’s request for statistical information.
To rank the surveyed colleges and universities, the magazine evaluates the collected data through various indicators of academic quality and gives a weighted score to each school based on its relative importance. Composite scores are then tabulated for each school and ranks are then distributed for each institutional group.
“The important thing is that we are in the top 50 of all research universities in the country and just look at the public universities,” Desruisseaux said. “It depends on academic indicators, but with that said movement within each of these groups is wonderful because we’re really in an elite group as it is. UCSB is always pleased when its academic quality is realized,” Desruisseaux said.

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