Union University was ranked as a top tier university in the Southern Universities-Master's category. The category recog" />
JACKSON, Tenn. – Aug. 22, 2003 – Union University's commitment to academic excellence has earned the Tennessee Baptist university its seventh consecutive ranking as a top tier institution by U.S. News & World Report.
Union University was ranked as a top tier university in the Southern Universities-Master's category. The category recognizes institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate and master's programs.
"The ranking by U. S. News & World Report is a significant recognition of the outstanding quality and commitment to excellence represented across the entire university," said David S. Dockery, president of the university. "To be included with the larger institutions is a testimony to the faculty, staff and students of Union University. We are especially pleased with the high rankings regarding student selectivity and the faculty."
U.S. News & World Report also recognized the university's student selectivity, ranking seventh in the category.
Dockery said the 2003-04 freshman class has an average ACT score of 25 and includes six National Merit Finalists, 44 valedictorians and salutatorians, and more than 70 percent who were ranked in the top 25 percent of their graduating high school class. Dockery called the group "one of the brightest in the university's history."
Union ranked eighth in faculty resources, taking into consideration class size, faculty salaries, and the proportion of professors with terminal degrees and the student-faculty ratio.
Eighty percent of Union's faculty members hold earned doctorates and about 70 percent of Union's classes have fewer than 20 students - a student to faculty ratio of 12 to one.
"These rankings provide national recognition of the outstanding student body enrolled at Union as well as a strong affirmation of Union's commitment to its excellent faculty," said Provost Carla Sanderson. "This news is a fine way to start a new academic year."
R. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was the first of many nationally-known scholars to offer congratulations to the nation's oldest Southern Baptist university.
"Union University is proof positive that a Christian university really can achieve academic excellence without compromising the Christian worldview," Mohler said. "Union's commitment to academic achievement will prepare the rising generation for leadership in the world, while its Christian worldview commitments will prepare students for eternity."
"Christian parents and students should take note and see for themselves what makes Union University a leader in Christian education today," Mohler added.
Robert George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and a member of President Bush's Council on Bioethics, praised Union University for choosing a path of cultural engagement.
"Seeking peer approval, many Christian colleges have capitulated to the secularist ideology that has established itself as a new orthodoxy in the world of higher education," George said. "Others, fearing spiritual infection, have retreated from the field of battle into intellectual isolation. Union University, however, has chosen the path of cultural engagement, confidently and joyfully proposing the Christian worldview as an intellectually and morally superior alternative to the tired dogmas of secularism."
"Union has won national recognition not despite, but because of, its fidelity to the profound truths of the Gospel," George added.
Union's national recognition was also welcomed by James Porch, executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
"This affirmation is an expression of recognition of Union's rich heritage and continued commitment to Christian ideals and educational excellence as witnessed in the life and character of the students and alumni," Porch said. "Tennessee Baptists applaud Union University."
Michael Weeks, president of the Southern Baptist Foundation and chairman of the Union University Board of Trustees, said he was pleased with the national attention Union has received.
"The fact that the well recognized and respected U.S. News & World Report has affirmed that Union University is a rigorous academic institution that maintains its unfailing commitment to Christian values speaks volumes," Weeks said. "Indeed it is possible to be a nationally recognized learning institution while remaining true to it's unique, Christ centered approach to education."