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UT Falls In National Rankings; Officials ‘Not Disappointed”

WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

  The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has fallen three spots in US News and World Report’s annual rankings of the nation’s public universities.  This year’s report places UT in a tie with the University of Oregon at #50.  In the National Universities list, which includes private universities, UT slipped five spots to #106.

The annual lists are among the most closely watched in higher education.  Prospective faculty, as well as potential students and their families often use the lists to compare colleges and universities.

UT’s drop comes despite an orchestrated effort to raise the university’s profile.  Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek says he’s not disappointed with the ranking because the university is improving in a number of areas.  For instance, UT’s graduation rate has risen nine percent.  In addition, he says the student retention rate has increased and the school is hiring additional faculty at higher salaries.

Compared to its public SEC brethren, Tennessee falls into the middle of the pack.  While it’s ranked higher than schools like Ole Miss and LSU, it trails Florida (#14), Georgia (#20), Texas A&M (#25), Alabama (#38), Missouri (#45) and Auburn (#48).  Vanderbilt doesn’t appear on the public universities list because it’s a private institution.  However, it’s tied for #16 on the national universities list with Notre Dame and Brown.

Other area universities that appeared on the various US News & World Report lists include Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City (#15 Regional Colleges of the South) and UT Chattanooga (#57 Regional Universities of the South).

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