JACKSON, Tenn. – Aug. 16, 2010– Union University has moved into the top 15 universities in the South, according to the annual rankings of colleges and universities by U.S.News & World Report.
Union was tied for the 15th spot in the “Best Regional Universities – South” category, up one spot from last year’s ranking of 16th. The position is the highest ever for Union and marks the 14th straight year for the publication to list Union among the best universities in the South.
A regional university, according to U.S.News & World Report, is one that provides a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s degree programs, while offering few doctoral programs. The category includes 572 universities ranked with four geographic areas – North, South, Midwest and West. Other categories the publication uses are national universities, national liberal arts colleges and regional colleges.
“All of us at Union University are grateful that the U.S.News & World Report rankings have recognized the high quality of people, programs and services at Union University,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “I congratulate and applaud the faculty, staff and students of this university for their faithfulness and their commitment to excellence.”
For the second straight year, Union ranked highly for its strong commitment to teaching. Among all regional universities in the South, Union ranked third for institutions “where the faculty has an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” Only 86 schools in the nation earned this description.
For the third straight year, the magazine ranked Union as one of the top “Up-and-Coming Schools” in the nation. Union ranked fourth in the South, holding its position from last year, in the “Regional Universities” category of schools that “have recently made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus, or facilities.” Only 68 schools in the nation were designated as “Up-and-Coming Schools.”
Also for the third straight year, Union was selected as one of 17 “A-Plus Schools for B Students” in the South. Union’s freshman retention rate of 88 percent was third highest among regional universities in the South.
Other West Tennessee institutions ranked in the “regional universities” category were Christian Brothers University (21st), Freed-Hardeman University (39th) and the University of Tennessee-Martin (47th).