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UF climbs in national rankings

Published: September 10th, 2013

Category: Spotlights

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The University of Florida has surged to No. 14 among the nation’s best public universities as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, a leap forward of three spots from last year’s standing.

“Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature are supporting our effort to be among the nation’s top public universities, and we expect to continue our climb in future years. This will benefit all students in Florida who deserve an opportunity to attend a top-ranked university in their home state,” UF President Bernie Machen said.

Machen postponed his retirement early this year at Scott’s request to renew his commitment to lead UF to top-10 status.

Today’s ranking is the latest indicator of the UF’s increasingly competitive national standing. The University of Florida also:

  • ranked fourth nationally last year among universities in launching startup companies from their own technologies.
  • offers students and their families the second-highest return on investment of any university in the nation, according to the Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney magazine.
  • had the nation’s best career services as ranked by the Princeton Review in 2010 and 2012. UF’s Career Resource Center currently ranks No. 5.

In the new U.S. News & World Report results, UF improved its performance in several areas: graduation and retention rank, expected graduation rate, selectivity, alumni giving rank and faculty resources – particularly percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students.

UF passed the University of Washington and the University of Texas at Austin to tie with the University of California Irvine in rankings of public universities. UF ranks 49th among all universities nationally in the new U.S. News & World Report rankings, up from 54th last year.

“University faculty, staff, students and supporters helped pull UF through five difficult years of a down national economy and state budget cuts,” Provost Joseph Glover said. “UF’s national ranking is in large part due to their efforts and reflects our continued quest to increase our standing among the nation’s top public universities.  With the full participation of the UF community, we look forward to the opportunity this year to build on this excellence.”

News of UF’s improved ranking arrives even before an infusion of new state resources to back the push for top-10 status. The Florida Legislature’s designation of UF as a preeminent state research university this year is accompanied by $15 million annually for five years to elevate its academic and research standing. UF has pledged to match that money with donations.

UF plans to invest the money in new faculty. The new hires could improve UF’s scores on some ranking criteria used by U.S. News & World Report. More important, attracting more top-notch educators and researchers helps students and all Floridians who benefit from the breakthroughs that come out of University of Florida laboratories in the areas of medicine, engineering, agriculture and more.

Even as it pushes to join the ranks of the nation’s elite colleges and universities, UF remains committed to offering opportunity for all Floridians. Next year, it will be among the first universities in the nation to offer an entire undergraduate education online. UF Online will make a UF education available to far more incoming students than this year’s 6,375 on-campus freshmen from an applicant pool of more than 29,000.

In addition, in January UF launched the Innovation Academy to give hundreds more students classroom seats in the spring and summer that open up after mid-year graduations and withdrawals. The program offers a minor in innovation through courses in entrepreneurship, creativity, ethics and leadership on a January-through-August academic calendar.

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