U.S. News ranks U.Va. No. 1 public
By Carol Wood
University has regained its No. 1 ranking among public universities,
U.S. News & World Report announced last week.
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.
its 2004 edition of Americas 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.
President John T. Casteen III said he believes the Universitys
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.
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
Provost Gene D. Block pointed to the Universitys 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 years financial difficulties have been hard
on everyone, and it is gratifying to know that others continue
to view our institution as a leader.
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.
the same time, there was some good financial news. In April, Standard
& Poors 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 worlds major bond-rating
the states economic situation and its impact on the University,
Standard & Poors cited, among other things, the Universitys
solid reputation, increase in research funding, and the strength
and effectiveness of its financial and business operations.
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.
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
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.