UConn: A top 20 public university (again)


Students rise at the University of Connecticut commencement ceremony in 2006. (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

U.S. News and World Report has ranked the University of Connecticut No. 20 on their annual list of top universities. The new rankings were released on Tuesday. This is the sixth consecutive year that UConn has been among the top 25 public universities. Last year, 2015, they were ranked 19th overall.

“Universities expect some movement on this list annually. Moving a place or two up or down in a given year is not significant. A school’s overall trajectory is what to watch,” said University President Susan Herbst. “UConn has gone from being No. 38 among public universities only 15 years ago to being a top 25 university.”

Herbst attributed the fall in ranking to the movement of other 173 universities on the total list, and the decline in student enrollment due to budgetary issues affecting faculty hiring. The rankings are also impacted by the quality of academic offerings, a university’s research and service.

“Although we’ve had to slow our faculty hiring due to state budget reductions, we’ve reduced average class sizes over the past several years and will also work to keep those sizes in check,” said University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.

Despite reduction of class sizes and the rate of faculty hires, and the recent deduction in ranking, university officials do not expect there to be any impact on future incoming freshmen classes.

“We’ve had several years of record applications, with each class being highly accomplished and diverse,” said Reitz. “We don’t see that changing anytime soon, given that the word of UConn’s quality has been spreading nationwide.”

The university is also currently listed in the top 10 of the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools”, and number 18 on Money magazine’s list of the best value public universities, among others.

“Our goal is always to rise in this [U.S. News and World Report] ranking, which does focus on several meaningful metrics. We are going to continue to invest all the resources we can in what is most important: academic quality and student success,” said Herbst. “UConn remains very strong in key areas. Our retention and graduation rates are high and holding steady, our academic reputation is firm, and we have successfully maintained the academic quality of our incoming classes.”

“UConn is proud to be in the top 25 among public universities, and we plan to stay there thanks to the hard work of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters,” said Reitz.

Sarah McNeal is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at sarah.mcneal@uconn.edu.

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