UB climbs in rank among ‘top 50’ public colleges

University rankings continue to improve


The communities of excellence, updated general education requirements and hiring of more UB faculty have made the university a standout school.

UB has earned a top 50 ranking from U.S. News & World Report,for the third year in a row. U.S. News & World Reportreleases rankings of the top schools in the country every fall. UB was ranked No. 43, which is up two places from last year’s No. 45. UB was also ranked among the top 100 universities in the nation ranking at 99.

Seven weighted measures are used to determine a university’s ranking: academic reputation, student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate and alumni giving rate, according to Craig Abbey, UB director of Institutional Analysis.

Abbey said U.S. News surveys academics, presidents, provosts, undergraduate admissions advisers and high school counselors to gather data that determine rankings.

“Some of it is [based on] how much money you spend per student,” Abbey said. “Which, of course, is maybe the opposite of what students want, which is a low cost education.”

The primary purpose of university rankings is to help college selection process for prospective students and their families. Rankings serve as a guide for students and parents to compare the academic quality of schools, according to U.S. News.

Charles Zukoski, UB provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, said the recently updated UB curriculum – the general education requirements for all UB undergraduates – attracts students and parents to UB.

Zukoski also attributed UB’s rise in ranking to the establishment of “communities of excellence.”

The communities of excellence address issues such as global health equity and sustainable manufacturing, according to Zukoski. They serve as an example of “growing public good,” which Zukoski said is one of UB’s chief institutional goals.

Zukoski said efforts to improve educational quality at UB are ongoing. The university is currently seeking ways to improve offerings in the humanities and social sciences.

“There’s an observation that students are moving out of humanities and humanistic social sciences as majors,” he said. “We don’t think that’s good for society or good for the students.”

He said the university is working closely with the dean of College of Arts and Sciences and with the chairs and faculty in those units to continue to deliver “in-depth knowledge.”

Zukoski also said the university is always aiming to build on the strength of the faculty. In the past year alone, the university has hired approximately 50 new faculty. The engineering and medical schools benefited from the largest faculty increases.

In the future, Zukoski said he hopes to see more major infrastructural growth, such as transportation, water and electric systems. Currently, the majority of the funds allocated for infrastructure are used for routine maintenance. Zukoski would like to see an increase of funds to allow for larger projects, like the recent $44 million renovation of Hayes Hall, home to the school of architecture and planning.

Alison Rogers, a sophomore biology and computer science major, said the ranking matters to her as a current student because it will make her graduate school applications more competitive.

“It’s comforting to know that UB is thought highly of by other schools,” Rogers said.

Jeremy Rojo, a sophomore political science major, said that thanks to UB’s improved ranking, he’s “even more prideful” about attending UB.

“I feel like I’m getting a good education at UB because it’s a research-run university. Most or all faculty do research, so they’re literally creating knowledge,” Rojo said, “Plus, the faculty seem genuine. They seem like they’re teaching because they do enjoy teaching.”

Maddy Fowler is a news staff writer and can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com

Correction: The original article stated UB was No. 45 among the top 100 universities in the country.