Aug. 29-Sept. 12, 2003
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U.S. News ranks U.Va. No. 1 public
William Pease to lead U.Va.’s marching band
Headlines @ U.Va.
For Dom Starsia, the summer of his content

ACC looks beyond athletics with Traveling Scholars Program

‘A great ride’ comes to a smooth landing
Reynolds puts love of numbers to work for University
New orthopaedic surgery chair focuses on today’s broken bones, tomorrow’s new legs
Breast Care Center offers high-tech health, warm environment
Appalachian clinic draws record crowd
Positive spin keeps wheels turning at Parking & Transportation
Bus schedule, escort changes enhance safety
Visa problems take toll on international students
Summer session office losing longtime leader
From bugs to satellites: A symposium on the limits of landscape
McCormick Observatory offers ‘Mars Mania’
All moved in
Pluses and minuses fill balance sheet of Luckson Hove’s life
Transfer students get early start at building community

U.S. News ranks U.Va. No. 1 public

By Carol Wood

The University has regained its No. 1 ranking among public universities, U.S. News & World Report announced last week.

Since U.S. News began ranking public schools in 1998, U.Va. has never been lower than No. 2, and this is the fourth time in seven years it has claimed the No. 1 spot.

In its 2004 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” U.S. News also ranked U.Va. as No. 21 in its Top National Universities category, which includes public and private institutions. In both rankings, U.Va. tied with the University of California-Berkeley. In the 17-year history of the rankings, U.Va. has never dropped out of the top 25 listing.

University President John T. Casteen III said he believes the University’s continued success in the rankings is due, in large measure, to 10 years of strong philanthropic support for faculty work that is equal to the best in the country.

“I am particularly pleased that in the midst of an extraordinary state budget crisis, the University of Virginia has managed not only to hold its own, but also to continue to be ranked at the top,” Casteen said. “This honor is a tribute to the sustained hard work and contributions of every member of the University community, and to the loyalty of University alumni around the world.”

University Provost Gene D. Block pointed to the University’s strong score for its academic programs and reputation — 4.4 out of 5 — as an important indicator of success. “The fact that our ranking and, specifically, our reputational score increased this year confirms what we all know to be the case, that the University has outstanding faculty, students and programs,” Block said. “ The past year’s financial difficulties have been hard on everyone, and it is gratifying to know that others continue to view our institution as a leader.”

In the past several years, the University sustained the largest cuts of any other state institution, in addition to weathering tuition rollbacks and three years of faculty salary freezes. In the faculty resources category of the overall rankings, which includes faculty compensation, the University dropped from 35 to 44. The toll over the present two-year budget will be about $96 million in reduced state support and could well impact future rankings.

During the same time, there was some good financial news. In April, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the University to a triple-A debt rating, making it one of only two public universities in the country — along with the University of Texas — to hold the coveted ranking from all three of the financial world’s major bond-rating agencies.

Despite the state’s economic situation and its impact on the University, Standard & Poor’s cited, among other things, the University’s solid reputation, increase in research funding, and the strength and effectiveness of its financial and business operations.

In additional 2004 rankings, U.S. News named U.Va.’s McIntire School of Commerce No. 7 among best undergraduate business programs in a three-way tie with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Among 12 ranked business specialties, McIntire tied with Indiana University-Bloomington at No. 4 among best management programs.

Among best undergraduate engineering programs, U.Va.’s School of Engineering and Applied Science was in good company at No. 38 in an 11-way tie with Brown, Case Western, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Washington University (St. Louis), Yale and others.

Last year, U.S. News introduced a category called Outstanding First-Year Experience, and for the second time U.Va. was among the schools cited as among the best in the country.


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