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Gavin Young
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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.



Happy Kansas Day, Kansans! We caught sunflowers standing tall at the Grinter Family Farms just outside Lawrence last fall. You may wonder how the sunflower came to be the State flower in 1903 and we found an excerpt from Kansas legislation: Whereas, Kansas has a native wild flower common throughout her borders, hardy and conspicuous, of definite, unvarying and striking shape, easily sketched, moulded, and carved, having armorial capacities, ideally adapted for artistic reproduction, with its strong, distinct disk and its golden circle of clear glowing rays -- a flower that a child can draw on a slate, a woman can work in silk, or a man can carve on stone or fashion in clay; and Whereas, This flower has to all Kansans a historic symbolism which speaks of frontier days, winding trails, pathless prairies, and is full of the life and glory of the past, the pride of the present, and richly emblematic of the majesty of a golden future, and is a flower which has given Kansas the world-wide name, "the sunflower state"... Be it enacted ... that the helianthus or wild native sunflower is ... designated ... the state flower and floral emblem of the state of Kansas.

Have family visiting Lawrence? #exploreKU and take them to the @KUnhm like @ChrisCanDesign did. http://t.co/PTDSdpSakh
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


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