MAILED: Sept. 6, 2001
For the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report magazine ranks the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire among the top public regional universities in the Midwest, and places it among the best of all public and private regional universities in the 12-state region.
In the magazines 2002 edition of its annual Americas Best Colleges guidebook, UW-Eau Claire is ranked No. 3 among the public regional universities in the Midwest. Only Truman State of Missouri and Northern Iowa University are ranked higher than UW-Eau Claire among public universities in the Midwest region, which includes schools in states stretching from the Dakotas to the West, Missouri to the South and Ohio to the East.
The rankings are increasingly competitive, so were very proud of our ability to come out toward the very top year after year, Chancellor Donald Mash said. We believe our students, alumni and the residents of the state of Wisconsin are continuing to get an exceptional return on their investment in UW-Eau Claire.
For its 2002 rankings, U.S. News & World Report places UW-Eau Claire 26th among all regional universities - public and private - in the top tier of what is now called the Best Universities-Masters category. Top tier schools are those considered by the magazine to be among the top 25 percent of all universities in the region. Schools included in Best Universities-Masters category, formerly known as the Regional Universities category, provide a full range of undergraduate- and masters-level programs, and tend to draw students mostly from in-state and surrounding states.
Receiving national recognition for its overall excellence enhances the value of a degree from UW-Eau Claire, Mash said of the importance of the magazines rankings. Earning a degree from a university with a strong reputation will help current and future students secure quality jobs and/or entry to outstanding graduate programs, Mash said. The degrees held by our alumni regardless of whether they graduated one year ago or 30 years ago also grow in value when their alma mater receives national attention for excellence.
The magazines rankings are based on analyzing thousands of points of data collected on more than 1,400 accredited four-year colleges. In the regional rankings, 573 universities-masters were ranked within four geographic areas (North, South, Midwest and West). U.S. News & World Report compares things such as academic reputation, faculty-student ratio, freshman class rank, class sizes, graduation and freshman 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. Obviously we take great pride in the fact that UW-Eau Claire is recognized by academic leaders throughout the region as being an outstanding university, Mash said. A quality reputation reflects well on the performance of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.
UW-Eau Claires small class size, commitment to hiring full-time faculty and annual alumni giving rate also were among the universitys strengths as identified in the rankings.
Our average alumni giving rate is 22 percent, which is significantly higher than the average giving rates of other regional public universities, Mash said. Thats significant since a high alumni giving rate is used as an indicator of student satisfaction. Our alumni obviously feel good about the education and overall experiences they received at UW-Eau Claire and they still feel connected enough to UW-Eau Claire to want to give something back each year.
UW-Stevens Point and UW-La Crosse also were ranked in the top tier of all public and private regional universities, 28th and 33rd respectively. Mash said the inclusion of three UW System schools in the top tier reflects well on the UW System and the state of Wisconsin as a whole. Wisconsin has long been committed to offering its residents quality educational opportunities, Mash said. With three UW institutions being singled out in these rankings, its obvious that the UW System is making very good use of state appropriations and of the students tuition dollars.
While the rankings highlight several of UW-Eau Claires strengths, they only touch on some of what makes UW-Eau Claire stand apart from other public universities, Mash said. We have an exceptionally high percentage of our students who study abroad, incredible undergraduate research opportunities and a rich campus living-learning environment, he said. Those are the kinds of things that contribute greatly to our students successes and experiences, yet are not measured by these types of rankings.
All 2002 U.S. News college rankings will be included in its college guidebook, Americas Best Colleges, which goes on sale Sept. 10. Many of the rankings also will be included in the Sept. 17 issue of U.S. News & World Report magazine, which will be on newsstands Sept. 10. The rankings also can be found on U.S. News Web site, www.usnews.com.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Sept. 6, 2001