Accolades: UVA Garners Top-10 National Ranking

August 31, 2016

If universities were ranking the rankings of universities, the University of Virginia might have the Business Insider pretty high on its list.

According to the online publication’s “The 50 Best Colleges in America,” published Aug. 22, UVA ranks No. 9 in the nation and No. 1 among all public universities. The criteria: high-quality education, on-time graduation rates, early-career earnings and “a memorable and enjoyable campus experience that instills pride and loyalty for decades to come.”

Business Insider based its rankings largely on government-compiled data, with a heavy emphasis on early-career earnings and graduation rates. Also included was a measure of student experience compiled by Niche, an education research firm.

The article listed UVA grads’ average salary 10 years after enrollment as $58,600 and students’ average SAT score as 1,382, and awarded the University an A+ for student life.

The top 10: Princeton University, Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, UVA and Columbia University.

Other notable universities in the top 50 include the University of Michigan (No. 12 overall, No. 2 public), University of California-Berkeley (No. 14 overall, No. 3 public), Washington & Lee University (No. 22), the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (No. 28) and the University of Richmond (No. 34).

Diversity Efforts Earn National Recognition

UVA is among 83 institutions nationwide – and only three from Virginia – to receive the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, presented by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“The HEED Award is the only national honor for U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” the magazine said Wednesday in its announcement. The 2016 honorees will be featured in the magazine’s November issue. 

According to the announcement, HEED Award institutions are selected based on their exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives that focus on all aspects of diversity, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees – and best practices for both – continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” the magazine’s publisher, Lenore Pearlstein, said in the announcement. “While we look at numbers and expect continued improvement for those schools that receive the HEED Award year after year, we also use a holistic approach in reviewing each application. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

Award recipients for 2016 include community colleges, public and private schools, baccalaureate-granting institutions, graduate schools and one school system. The other recipients from Virginia are Northern Virginia Community College and Virginia Tech.

Virginia Top-Ranked for Judicial Legal Citations, New Study Shows

UVA’s School of Law ranks No. 3 in the number of professors among the top 100 faculty in the country cited by the judiciary, according to a new study. Three professors – Brandon Garrett, Douglas Laycock and Caleb Nelson – rank among the top 25.

The research, prepared by a team of University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) professors who looked at U.S. Supreme Court, federal appeals court and state high court decisions from 2005-14, further ranks UVA Law professors as follows:

  • Among state supreme courts, Garrett, a criminal law and wrongful convictions expert, is the most-cited law professor in the country, and is No. 7 in citations among all studied courts.
  • Saikrishna Prakash, a constitutional law expert with a focus on the executive branch, is tied with Garrett to rank fourth in U.S. Supreme Court citations and is among the top 100 most-cited professors.
  • Laycock, a religious liberty and remedies expert, and Nelson, whose work focuses on federal courts and statutory interpretation, join Garrett as No. 10 and No. 23 on the list of professors most-cited by high courts overall.
  • Virginia has eight professors in the top 100 for judicial citations, a list that also includes Kenneth S. Abraham, Richard J. Bonnie, John C. Jeffries Jr. and Frederick Schauer.

UVA Law Dean Risa Goluboff said that being cited frequently by judges is an important measure of the impact legal scholars have, not just in the legal community, but in everyday people’s lives.

“This study confirms what we at UVA have always known: that we have top scholars who are expert at both analyzing and changing the law,” she said. “Our uniquely collegial and pluralist intellectual community facilitates the kind of careful, sophisticated academic work that courts regularly seek out on even the thorniest issues. When people ask what legal scholarship does for the world of legal practice, they should look to UVA.”

Gibson Becomes Latest UVA Nursing Professor to Lead a National Organization

Associate Professor of Nursing Mary Gibson’s recent election as president of the American Association for Nursing History brings to four the number of national nursing organization leaders who make UVA’s School of Nursing their academic home.

Gibson joins the presidents of the American Nurses’ Association (Pam Cipriano), the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (Clareen Wiencek) and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (Emily Drake).

“What an honor for our school to have a seat at so many tables,” Nursing School Dean Dorrie K. Fontaine said, “and so many clear, resonant voices in an arena where ideas, decisions and policies about best practices in nursing happen.”

Gibson’s two-year term as president of the American Association for Nursing History – the only U.S. nursing organization devoted to uncovering and disseminating the history of nursing education, advocacy and practice – officially begins in September at the association’s annual meeting in Chicago.

National ‘100 Great Oncology Programs’ List Features UVA

The University of Virginia Cancer Center has been honored among 100 hospitals and health systems with great oncology programs by Becker’s Hospital Review, a national health care publication. UVA is the only health system in Virginia named to this year’s list.

According to Becker’s, “the hospitals and health systems selected for this list are leading the way in clinical expertise, patient outcomes and influential cancer research.”

In its profiles of honorees, Becker’s highlighted UVA’s citation as a “Blue Distinction Center for Complex & Rare Cancers” by health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield, as well as UVA Medical Center receiving “Magnet” designation in 2015 for its quality patient care and excellence in nursing care. 

“We’re pleased to see the work of our team at the UVA Cancer Center and our partners across UVA Health System recognized,” said Dr. Thomas P. Loughran Jr., director of the Cancer Center. “This award recognizes our efforts to provide high-quality patient care and our research that seeks to develop new and better treatments.” 

Becker’s does not rank the hospitals named to the list; they are highlighted in alphabetical order.

Cancer Research Lands Biomedical Engineer a National Honor

Jennifer Munson, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, recently received the Biomedical Engineering Society Young Investigator Award, given to an investigator whose originality and ingenuity is demonstrated in a published work.

The published work of note is Munson’s 2013 cancer research paper, “Interstitial flow in a 3D microenvironment increases glioma invasion by a CXCR4-dependent mechanism.” This paper pursues the hypothesis that interstitial flow dictates and increases glioma invasion, based on the observation that flow pathways in the brain correlate with routes of invasion. Munson will present a lecture at the Biomedical Engineering Society’s annual meeting in October.

“I’m looking forward to sharing with the biomedical engineering community the exciting research that has grown out of this paper and  we are pursuing here at UVA,” Munson said.

Munson continues a strong tradition in UVA’s Department of Biomedical Engineering; previous winners of the Young Investigator Award include her colleagues, Shayn Peirce-Cottler (2004) and Kevin Janes (2006). With three winners, UVA now has the most winners, ahead of Johns Hopkins; the University of California, San Diego; and Cornell University, each of which have had two recipients.

Fred Epstein, who chairs the biomedical engineering department and is a professor of biomedical engineering and radiology, called the award “an important honor for Jenny and our department.”

Two From UVA Named to Leadership Charlottesville’s Class of 2017

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce recently announced that 32 citizens from a diverse range of member businesses and civic organizations – including two from UVA – will make up its Leadership Charlottesville Class of 2017.

Selected from UVA are Nicole Ferretti, assistant vice president for budget and financial planning, and Dorothy “Dori” Williams, assistant director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the School of Medicine, the organization announced Aug. 16.

The Chamber of Commerce established Leadership Charlottesville, a community leadership development program, in 1982 as an economic development initiative, aiming to improve the community’s economic vitality and quality of life by building a corps of engaged, dedicated civic leaders. Since its inception, the chamber has graduated more than 950 area citizens from Leadership Charlottesville. 

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

Assistant Director of University News and Chief Copy Editor, UVA Today Office of University Communications