UNK Ranked One Of Top 15 Public Universities By U.S. News & World Report

Curt Carlson
Vice Chancellor for University Relations, 308.865.8529
 UNK- For the second consecutive year, “U.S. News & World Report’s” annual ranking of America’s best colleges has placed the University of Nebraska at Kearney among the top 15 public universities at the Master’s level in the Midwest region.

        The magazine’s 2009 survey also gave UNK its highest ranking ever (#59) among all Master’s universities, both public and private, in that 12-state region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
         In the U.S. News analysis, universities in the Midwest Master’s division are those which provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs, but offer few, if any, doctoral programs.  For the sixth year in a row, UNK ranks in the top tier of Midwest institutions of that kind.    
        UNK Chancellor Douglas Kristensen said: “Of course we’re pleased that these rankings continue to recognize our progress.  Even though the higher education community does not assign a great deal of weight to these rankings, students, their families and the general public obviously pay attention to them. U.S. News has placed us in very good company, and we’re glad to be there.”
        According to Chancellor Kristensen, UNK’s ranking reflects several key factors, including an outstanding freshmen retention rate (81%) and a high graduation rate (55%) compared to peer institutions.  
        “Success on those benchmarks reflects our student-oriented values and the contributions of faculty and staff who live those values every day,” he said. “The entire UNK community should be very proud of those achievements. We’re committed to staying on that course.”
        The rankings measure 11 areas of university performance and peer assessment. In addition to the retention and graduation rates, UNK scored high in two critical areas–the percentage of classes with 20 or fewer students and in the student/faculty ratio. In all, 37% of UNK’s classes have 20 or fewer students, and the student/faculty ratio is 16/1. In addition, 93 percent of UNK faculty are full-time.
      The upward trend in rankings also reflected  the increasing quality of UNK’s freshmen students– in this year’s survey 36% ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class.