Archive for Tuesday, September 13, 2011

KU listed at 46th among public universities in U.S. News and World Report rankings

September 13, 2011


Big 12 standings

A look at how Big 12 Conference universities scored in the overall U.S. News and World Report rankings:

45-tie. University of Texas-Austin

58-tie. Texas A&M; University-College Station

75-tie. Baylor University

90-tie. University of Missouri

97-tie. Iowa State University

101-tie. Kansas University

101-tie. University of Oklahoma

132-tie. Oklahoma State University

143-tie. Kansas State University

160-tie. Texas Tech University

Previous rankings

A look back at Kansas University’s previous U.S. News and World Report rankings among public universities:

2012 — 46

2011 — 47

2010 — 43

2009 — 40

2008 — 38

2007— 39

2006 — 45

2005 — 42

2004 — 44

2003 — 41

Kansas University slightly increased its ranking in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings released today, both overall and among public schools.

KU is in a tie for 46th among public schools, in a tie with Florida State University, North Carolina State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Oregon and the University of Tennessee. The schools ranked in a tie for 101st when both public and private schools were included, up from KU’s 104th overall ranking last year.

Two private schools, the University of Dayton and the University of the Pacific, both also received the same overall score as KU.

Jeff Vitter, KU’s provost and executive vice chancellor, said he was glad to see that KU moved up on the list, particularly given that the overall pool was a little bit larger this year.

In recent years, KU has been ranked as high as 30th among public schools in 1999 and as low as 47th last year.

“The reality is that students, their families and others look to the rankings to get a sense of where universities stand,” Vitter said. “It’s always good to go up rather than down.”

Still, he said the university was looking to further improve its standing.

The university’s strategic plan, which will soon be publicly unveiled, will seek to improve KU in several areas that would improve its ranking, too, like retention and graduation rates.

“Quite frankly, one thing that jumps out in these rankings is our acceptance rate,” Vitter said.

He pointed out that KU was the only university among the overall top 140 schools that had an acceptance rate of higher than 90 percent (KU’s is 93 percent).

The Kansas Board of Regents has given its blessing for state universities to propose their own requirements, and Vitter said the school would work with state leaders to determine what role KU should serve in this area, and if it should propose higher admission standards.

“It makes sense for KU as the flagship institution to play a special role,” Vitter said.


BABBOY 6 years, 7 months ago

Typical snobby KU paper.

Little Emporia State was ranked 16th and you do not even notice.......(beating the entire dead conference known as the Big 12 (with 10 teams)).

I only know because the Topeka paper (which must cater to everyone not just KU geeks) ran it on their site.......

Jonathan Kealing 6 years, 7 months ago

Empora State's 16 ranking was not in the same category as KU.

Hooligan_016 6 years, 7 months ago

Kealing is spot on. ESU was ranked 16th in the Midwest Regional Colleges. KU is ranked 46th as compared to ALL public universities in the nation.

CreatureComforts 6 years, 7 months ago

AND, what would one expect in a Lawrence newspaper? News about Emporia? Not likely...the same goes the other way too. Duh.

LJD230 6 years, 7 months ago

KU remain a mediocre school both regionally and nationally. There is nothiing about it's ranking in whcih to take pride. I suppose being the 6th ranked school in the soon to be dead Big 12 is beretter than being last. There is a bright light: if OU and Texas bolt, KU's academic standing in the conference will improve.

Unless KU is funded as the flagship university in Kansas, it ain't the flagship.

A 93% acceptance rate is ABSURD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ajmag 6 years, 7 months ago

KU is an easy school to get into but a tough school to stay in. It had the worst 4 year graduation rate in the Big 12 and one of the largest freshman drop out rate. I'm not saying that this proves that KU is top institution, but they did increase the admission standards to help address this problem. Like the person below points out, they need the money from high enrollment. And being that this isn't the highest populated part of the country (nor do they draw largely from outside the midwest) there isnt much that can be done about it.

But really, ask anyone who goes there and pursues a decent degree...KU is no cake walk.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 7 months ago

Agreed LJD230.

The problem is, if KU lowers its acceptance rate, enrollment will drop significantly at least in the short term, until KU improves its reputation.

Enrollment numbers are important given the tuition they generate and the attitude of state government.

KU has a conundrum: keep a 93% acceptance rate and a mediocre ranking; or try to improve, lower acceptance, and suffer the consequences in terms of reduced tuition and the ire of state government.

I choose the latter, because enrollment will increase again as KU gains in reputation. Plus, the state government frowns on KU already.

chootspa 6 years, 7 months ago

So, to sum up: Kansas residents still have an option for a quality education, even if that school doesn't rank quite as high as the governor would like. One reason the school's rankings suffer is because we allow just about everyone in the state to attend. Our options there are to either better prepare incoming high school students for college or exclude more of them.

To be fair, I'm ok excluding more of them, as long as they still have an option to transfer in after two years of community college. I'd also like to see us better preparing them for success, of course, but I doubt we have the political will to do it right.

LJD230 6 years, 7 months ago

Perfectly reasonable approach. And I think if KU were to significantly raise admission standards and actively recruit great students from OTHER parts of the country the academic reputation of the university would be increased. There is one variable that can't be changed and makes recruitment difficult: the political ethos of Kansas. For most people not living in Kansas, the state is a butt of jokes and some parents may not want their kids attending a school in such a rabidly conservative state.

usafJayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Since Lawrence (and most college towns) are rabidly liberal, it would seem the school is pretty well insulated from the state that surrounds it. And find me a state that isn't the butt of a joke! Missouri? Texas? RCJH!

chootspa 6 years, 7 months ago

I think usafJayhawk has this one right. The reputation of Lawrence itself is attractive. We get plenty of Chicagoans and other out of state students who are fine with this little ol' backwater.

Oldsoul 6 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

blindrabbit 6 years, 7 months ago

The decline a legacy of the Heminway chancellorship. Can't remember where KU was ranked in 1995 on his arrival, but in 1999 KU was 30th. Remember at that time that Heminway was set on improving KU into the top 20. The opposite has occurred, a steady decline into mediocrity to the 46th position now.

Hiroyuki Kato 6 years, 7 months ago

Losing AAU membership is a matter of time.

LJD230 6 years, 7 months ago

And it does't bode well for the capital campagin.

Looking forward to the response of the Kansas CEO now responsible for funding the ever accelerating entropy of KU.

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

All is not lost. Let's all be patient and give the new Sam Brownback administration a couple more years to work its magic.

LloydDobbler 6 years, 7 months ago

LJD - KU's problems aren't as much a funding problem as they are a leadership problem. There is too much whining about money, facilities, and politics and not enough hardcore focus on curriculum and teaching. I sure hope you aren't a KU employee...your attitude about the university and the state sucks!

Jeff Seymour 6 years, 7 months ago

Funding is one several items that is taken into consideration to the rankings.

voevoda 6 years, 7 months ago

The US News and World Report rankings are a beauty contest, based on a school's image rather than the actual quality of its programs. While the 93% acceptance rate and the concommittant drop-out rate certainly impact KU's ranking, KU also suffers from the "backward" image of Kansas, due to the antics of the State Board of Education a few years back and the antics of some current politicians who give Kansas a bad name.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 7 months ago

Actually, if you look at the rankings KU ranks higher on the image score than it does overall. Its ranking is dragged down by other factors.

The University of Delaware, for example, has a total score 6 points higher than KU, but its reputation score is actually 2 points lower.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

These ratings likely are not reached by any substantial scientific data machine therefore I equate them with the " best place to live" nonsense = based on what exactly which is never clear.

It's won by propaganda and who you know I contend.

Schools = you make it work no matter what the school of choice.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, there is no qualitative difference between Harvard and Colorado State.

Jeff Seymour 6 years, 7 months ago

You should read what is taken into consideration for these rankings. I don't remember anything about politics.

voevoda 6 years, 7 months ago

Significant elements in the calculation of rankings come from the opinions of university administrators who fill out questionnaires. They don't need to justify their rankings with facts, but instead they can simply express their opinions, which are often based on nothing more substantial than vague impressions.

sad_lawrencian 6 years, 7 months ago

It's good news, but these rankings should still be taken with a very large grain of salt.

SinoHawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I believe that it is possible to get a fine education at KU. That being said, KU lets in far too many undeserving students. Allowing those that shouldn't earn a college degree pay one/two/three/six years of tuition is actually doing them a disservice--they should be getting the technical training that will allow them to succeed in the workforce rather than working on a degree in underwater basket weaving that leaves them unqualified to be a barista at Starbucks. KU is by no means the worst in this regard, but unfortunately 'Big Ed' has convinced too many people that everyone can and should get a university degree.

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