John Bartle witnessed the reach of U.S. News & World Report's higher education rankings as a visiting faculty member in China several years ago.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha dean saw students in a college library passing around a worn copy of the rankings issue. He recalled thinking: “Gee whiz, if we're in this and we're highly ranked, that means we're reaching a very wide audience.”
Two UNO programs — information systems and technology management, and public finance and budgeting — ranked No. 6 nationally in their respective categories this week in the magazine's annual rankings of graduate school programs.
Those rankings are identical to last year's because the magazine adds new data only every fourth year for many programs.
Nevertheless, Bartle considers UNO's ranking a bonus.
“It's important to us,” said the dean of UNO's College of Public Affairs and Community Service. The positive rankings boost UNO's reputation, pump up institutional pride and help UNO recruit students, he said.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center's primary care program also received a No. 6 ranking, as it did last year. The magazine's public relations staff said new information is considered annually for programs in medicine, business, law, education and engineering. Other categories include fine arts, public affairs and business.
UNMC Chancellor Harold Maurer expressed enthusiasm over the program's ranking: “It's tremendous. I think we're very satisfied with how we're doing, but we'd like to do a lot better in the years ahead.”
Among other regional programs that made the top 10 in their categories are University of Nebraska-Lincoln ceramics (ninth) and biological and agricultural engineering (10th); and Iowa State biological and agricultural engineering (sixth).
The University of Iowa had more than five programs in the top 10, including first in speech-language pathology and second in both physician assistant and audiology. Creighton, UNO, UNL, Iowa State and Iowa all had some programs ranked outside the top 10.
Among other regional programs that received rankings are Creighton University occupational therapy (15th), physical therapy (16th), finance (18th), pharmacy (37th), MBA (50th) and nursing (64th); UNMC nursing (36th); and College of St. Mary occupational therapy (54th).
Among online graduate programs, Clarkson College ranked fourth in nursing; the University of Nebraska at Kearney ranked eighth in education; in business, UNL ranked 17th, Creighton 52nd and Bellevue 142nd; and in information technology, Iowa State ranked 19th.
The magazine's methods varied by category. Rankings in some categories involved only a assessment given by deans, directors and department heads around the country. The evaluation in other categories included how selective the program is in admitting students, faculty-student ratios, job-placement success, starting salaries of graduates and other criteria.
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