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University of Kansas moves up in U.S. News rankings

Tue, 09/10/2013

LAWRENCE – In the midst of efforts to ensure more students succeed and graduate, the University of Kansas moved up in U.S. News and World Report rankings released today.

In the “Best Colleges 2014” rankings, KU is tied for 47th among public universities, up from a tie for 51st last year. It remains the top-ranked university in Kansas and features more ranked graduate programs than all other public universities in the state combined.

The university is completing the second year of the implementation of Bold Aspirations, its strategic plan. Central to that effort are initiatives to increase the number of students who succeed in their studies and graduate on time.

“Our first mission is to educate leaders, and fulfilling our mission starts with robust first-year experiences to help students transition to college and continues with an innovative, challenging curriculum to prepare them to lead. Success in this area will result in higher rankings, but what’s more important is our ability to ensure students graduate from KU ready to contribute to our state and world,” said Jeffrey Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor.

This fall the university launched the KU Core Curriculum, which incorporates classes and experiences into new university-wide general education requirements. The KU Core is based on specific learning outcomes designed to prepare students for successful lives and careers.

The new curriculum and new first-year experiences are part of Bold Aspirations and tie into goals such as raising the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate to 90 percent and the six-year graduation rate to 70 percent. KU currently has the highest graduation rate of all public universities in Kansas.

Graduate program rankings are released each spring. In the most recent rankings, issued in March 2013, KU’s graduate program in city management and urban policy ranked No. 1 overall, and its special education program was the top-ranked public program in the field. Overall, KU has 32 graduate programs ranked in the U.S. News top 40 among public universities.



David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he works with KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, are important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.” Tags: #KUcommunities #CivilRights #History American Studies at KU
Turning rural America healthy: Christie Befort uses $10 million award. http://t.co/rrFjFtHbYT #KUcommunities http://t.co/Bsuek4k9QC
Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times