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Release: Sept. 1, 2000

UI ranked 20th best U.S. public university in U.S. News & World Report

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa is tied for 20th place among the best public universities in the country, according to the latest rankings published by the magazine U.S. News & World Report.

Sharing the 20th spot on the influential list of the top 50 "public national universities" with the University of Iowa are Ohio State University, Purdue University and the University of Georgia. The UI's tie for 20th place compares to a ranking of 21st last year and 26th the previous year.

The magazine also ranked undergraduate programs in business and engineering, where the Henry B. Tippie College of Business tied for 28th, compared to a tie for 32nd last year, and the UI College of Engineering tied for 56th, compared to a tie for 52nd last year.

UI President Mary Sue Coleman said the rankings reflect the academic strength of Big Ten universities as a group and of the University of Iowa, in particular. She also said that two of the keys to being nationally recognized include paying attention to faculty resources and offering value to students.

"It is important for University of Iowa students to be in an educational environment that focuses on the needs of each student," she said. "With a faculty-to-student ratio that improved during the last two academic years from a very good 17 students for each faculty member to an excellent 14 students per faculty member, the university is meeting that need."

"We also continue to offer our students an excellent value by placing students with highly regarded employers. As a result, the difference between a University of Iowa graduate's starting salary minus the cost of annual tuition is huge," she said.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on questionnaires filled out by administrators at more than 1,400 universities and colleges. The data collected is scored on 16 indicators in seven categories of academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation performance rate and alumni giving rate.

The category of "national university" includes the 228 U.S. colleges and universities offering a full range of undergraduate majors plus master's and doctoral degrees. There are 147 public universities and 81 private universities in the category.

The annual U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Colleges" guide is scheduled for publication in the Sept. 11 issue of the magazine on newsstands Monday, Sept. 4, and the college guidebook, with more than 1,400 college rankings, goes on sale the same day. The rankings and other information are available on-line at Friday, Sept. 1.