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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

UF cracks list of top 10 public universities, a victory years in the making

The University of Florida

iStockphoto

The University of Florida

13

September

The state of Florida now boasts a top 10 public university.

The University of Florida has long aimed to crack the top 10. Today, the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings put UF in the No. 9 spot, a leap from last year at No. 14.

President Kent Fuchs called the victory “the result of many years of focused work and a keen sense of purpose.”

He thanked the faculty, “the core of our academic reputation,” as well as staff, former UF President Bernie Machen and the school’s board of trustees. Gov. Rick Scott, the Legislature and state higher education officials were also thanked.

Among public and private universities, UF tied with the University of California, Irvine; the University of California, San Diego; and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. Overall, those schools ranked No. 42.

Here’s how other Florida schools fared:

  • University of Miami, No. 46 overall

  • Florida State University, No. 81 overall, No. 33 in public schools

  • University of South Florida, No. 140 overall, No. 68 in public schools

  • University of Central Florida, No. 171 overall, No. 90 in public schools

Of course, as each year’s rankings debut, skeptics weigh in. New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote last year on “Why college rankings are a joke.” Or this, from the Atlantic: “Your Annual Reminder to Ignore the U.S. News & World Report College Rankings.”

Still, for UF, the ranking has been years in the making.

The U.S. News rankings take 15 measures into account. From academic reputation; to graduation and retention rates; to selectivity and financial help, the publication tries to capture a school’s worthiness in a single number.

Bumping UF up this year were higher scores in academic reputation, more selectivity in admissions and improved graduation rates.

State funds rewarding UF for being one of the state’s “preeminent” universities also helped the school hire scores of faculty in recent years.

“Now is the time to double down,” Fuchs said in a statement. “We have the talent, the collective will and the means to keep moving up. We owe it to our students and the people of Florida to be the very best public research institution we can be.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 11:26am]

    

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