Holding its own as No. 2 public in the nation
U.Va. remains in top echelon of higher education in U.S.
News ‘Best Colleges’ rankings
a year in which public higher education across the nation
faced on-going budget troubles, the University of Virginia
continued to hold its own in the U.S. News & World
Report 2005 edition of “America’s Best Colleges.”
the University went from the No. 1 public university (in
a tie with the University of California at Berkeley) to
No. 2, it still ranks among the best of all national universities,
public and private, tying with Carnegie Mellon University
and the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor for the No.
22 slot overall.
the eight years that U.S. News has ranked public universities
as a separate category, U.Va. has been either the No. 1
or No. 2 school, more often than not sharing or changing
places with Cal Berkeley.
consistently has shown its strength in academic and financial
areas that are key to high national rankings. Over the
past decade, as state support of higher education in Virginia
has decreased and the University has come to rely more
heavily on private philanthropic support, U.Va. has managed
to invest in
faculty and programs — as well as a streamlined infrastructure — that
have proved essential to laying the groundwork for future growth.
This year, the state contribution to the University’s budget
is 8.1 percent, down from 27 percent a decade ago.
find it remarkable that U.Va. is able to consistently remain
in the top tier of public institutions given the difficult
financial environment in which it and other Virginia institutions
Gene D. Block, vice
president and University Provost. “This
is a testament to commitment on the part of our faculty to deliver
a high quality product under challenging conditions.”
While there are areas in which the University continues to
be vulnerable — U.Va. ranks No. 39 in faculty resources and
No. 49 in financial resources — it is headed in the right
direction. Last year, U.Va. was 44th in faculty resources and
54th in financial resources.
University President John T. Casteen III has launched two
U.Va. initiatives that are intended to put the institution
on a course
toward the top 15, or even top 10, of the nation’s
For the past year, U.Va., along with Virginia Tech and
the College of William & Mary, has been working with the Governor’s
administration and General Assembly leadership to create a new
partnership with the state that will allow the three institutions
increased flexibility to operate in a business-like environment.
The result will be the ability to compete more effectively with
national peers for the best faculty and federal and private research
In addition, U.Va. is in the initial phase of what
is expected to be a $3 billion fund-raising campaign
In other U.S. News rankings, the University’s McIntire
School of Commerce was ranked No. 9 in the Best Business Programs
category. McIntire’s management program was ranked No.
The University’s School of Engineering captured the No.
33 spot among Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.
U.Va.’s outstanding first-year experience was also singled
out. This is the second year that U.S. News has focused attention
on how top-ranked institutions deal with the transition to college
life. Forty university programs were cited as exemplary, although
not individually ranked.
Finally, the University continued to be ranked
in the top 25 in the Best Value category, this
in at No.