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Aug. 23 2004

UW-Eau Claire Again Ranks in U.S. News & World Report's Top Tier

U.S. News

For the 10th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report magazine has ranked the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as one of the best public regional universities in the Midwest. The publication also again named UW-Eau Claire's undergraduate research program as one of the best in the nation.

The 2005 rankings put UW-Eau Claire at No. 3 among regional public universities in the Midwest, a region that includes schools in 12 states stretching from the Dakotas in the west to Missouri in the south to Ohio in the east.

"The U.S. News & World Report rankings are extremely competitive, so it's satisfying to see UW-Eau Claire ranked near the top year after year," Chancellor Donald Mash said. "UW-Eau Claire clearly enjoys a national reputation for excellence."

UW-Eau Claire earned its national reputation by creating a dynamic living and learning environment that offers students enriching experiences in and out of the classroom, Mash said. As a result, students grow intellectually and personally, and leave the university prepared to be successful in their workplaces and to be leaders in their communities, he said.

"As an interactive public regional university, we continuously look for innovative ways to enrich our students' college experience, while enhancing the quality of life in our region and state," Mash said, citing as examples programs such as faculty-student research, service-learning, study abroad and internships.

U.S. News & World Report again acknowledged UW-Eau Claire's faculty-student research program by including it in the "Programs to look for" section, which highlights schools with outstanding examples of co-curricular programs that lead to student success. UW-Eau Claire is one of 36 universities — private and public — of all sizes from throughout the country to be included in the magazine's "Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects" category.

"The incredible research opportunities available to our undergraduate students help set us apart from other schools," Mash said. "We're a midsize public regional university, yet our faculty-student research program is recognized along with programs at premier institutions such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton."

The "Programs to look for" section includes eight programs that are known to enhance learning. Programs are undergraduate research, first-year experiences, internships, senior capstones, learning communities, study abroad, service-learning and writing in the disciplines.

U.S. News has included the "Programs to look for" section in its magazine for three years, but UW-Eau Claire has been talking about the program areas for many years, referring to them as the university's Marks of Excellence, Mash said.

"These are the very things that we note when describing UW-Eau Claire's strengths," Mash said of the "Programs to look for" categories. "When we talk about our dynamic living and learning environment, we're talking about things like study abroad opportunities, internships and service to the community."

U.S. News & World Report ranked UW-Eau Claire 20th — up from 26th a year ago — among all regional universities in the Midwest (public or private) in what is known as the "Best Universities-Masters" category. Schools included in this category provide a full range of undergraduate- and master's-level programs, and typically draw students from their state and surrounding states.

The rankings are based on data collected on more than 1,400 accredited four-year colleges. In the regional rankings, 572 schools were ranked in four geographic areas (North, South, Midwest and West). The magazine compares factors such as academic reputation, faculty-student ratio, class sizes, graduation and freshman retention rates, and alumni giving.

UW-Eau Claire shares the No. 3 ranking among regional public universities in the Midwest with UW-La Crosse. Truman State University of Missouri and University of Northern Iowa were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

All 2005 rankings will be included in U.S. News & World Report's college guidebook, " America's Best Colleges." Many of the rankings also will be included in the U.S. News & World Report magazine, available at newsstands Monday, Aug. 23. The rankings also can be found on the U.S. News Web site.

- UW-Eau Claire News Bureau