MAILED: Sept. 1, 2000
U.S. News & World Report has again ranked the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as the third best public regional university in the Midwest and placed it in the top tier of all public and private regional universities in the Midwest.
This is the sixth consecutive year that the magazine's "America's Best Colleges" guidebook has ranked UW-Eau Claire No. 3 among public regional universities. Only Truman State of Missouri and Northern Iowa University are ranked higher.
"Our students, their parents and the residents of the state of Wisconsin are obviously getting an exceptional return on their investment in UW-Eau Claire," Chancellor Donald Mash said. "The rankings are extremely competitive yet year after year we continue to come out toward the very top."
For the third year in a row, the magazine has placed UW-Eau Claire in its top tier of regional universities. Being placed in the top tier means that UW-Eau Claire is among the top 25 percent of all regional universities in the Midwest, including public and private institutions. The publication defines a regional university as an institution that provides a full range of undergraduate and master's level programs but offers few, if any, doctoral programs. The regional schools are placed into one of four geographic categories (Midwest, South, North and West) because they primarily draw students from their own region.
"Being recognized nationally for our academic excellence is important to our current and future students, as well as our alumni, because earning a degree from a distinguished school helps graduates get good jobs and gain admission to outstanding graduate programs," Mash said of the importance of being included among the top tier schools.
The magazine's college rankings are based on collecting thousands of points of data on about 1,400 accredited four-year colleges. In the regional rankings, 505 universities were considered, 260 of which were public.
To do its analysis, U.S. News & World Report compares things such as academic reputation, faculty-student ratio, class size, graduation and retention rates, student selectivity and alumni giving. As in past years, UW-Eau Claire did well in the academic reputation category, a ranking determined by a survey of presidents, provosts and deans of admissions at colleges and universities throughout the Midwest.
"The high ranking in the academic reputation category tells us that UW-Eau Claire is recognized by academic leaders throughout the Midwest as being a high-quality school," Mash said. "Also exciting is the 24 percent alumni giving rate, which is used as a measure of student satisfaction. With an alumni giving rate that is significantly higher than the other public universities in the top tier, our alumni are obviously satisfied with the education and experiences they received at UW-Eau Claire."
Those high levels of reputation and alumni satisfaction can be attributed to a number of things that help make UW-Eau Claire stand apart from other public universities, Mash said.
"Our Marks of Excellence include things such as top-notch faculty who love to teach and interact with their students, rigorous academic programs that provide career and life skills, incredible undergraduate student research opportunities, an active international studies program, and a stimulating living environment that provides ample opportunities for our students' personal growth," Mash said. "Those are things that are not easily measured and singled out in the college rankings yet contribute greatly to the quality of our university."
The 2001 U.S. News & World Report magazine's "America's Best Colleges" issue (dated Sept. 11) and college guidebook, which contains all university rankings, will arrive on newsstands Sept. 4. The rankings also can be found on the magazine's Web site, www.usnews.com.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Sept. 1, 2000