Accolades: UVA Moves Up to No. 40 in World University Rankings

UVA's Rotunda (Photo by Dan Addison)

The University of Virginia ranks 40th among the world’s 25,000-plus degree-granting institutions of higher education, according to a Saudi Arabia-based organization.

The Center for World University Rankings publishes what it calls “the only global university ranking that measures the quality of education and training of students as well as the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of their research without relying on surveys and university data submissions.” It issued its 2016 list of the top 1,000 colleges and universities on July 11. UVA moved up one spot from a year ago.

The center uses eight indicators in its rankings:

  • “Quality of Education,” weighted 25 percent, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have won major international awards, prizes and medals relative to the university’s size. UVA rated No. 220.
  • “Alumni Employment” (25 percent), measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have held CEO positions at the world’s top companies relative to the university’s size. UVA rated No. 18.
  • “Quality of Faculty” (25 percent), measured by the number of academics who have won major international awards, prizes and medals. UVA rated No. 129.
  • “Publications” (5 percent), measured by the number of research papers appearing in reputable journals. UVA rated No. 105.
  • “Influence” (5 percent), measured by the number of research papers appearing in highly influential journals. UVA rated No. 82.
  • “Citations” (5 percent), measured by the number of highly cited research papers. UVA ranked No. 78.
  • “Broad Impact” (5 percent), measured by the university’s “h-index,” a measure of the number of highly impactful papers its scientists have published. UVA rated No. 103.
  • “Patents” (5 percent), measured by the number of international patent filings. UVA ranked No. 63.

UVA placed No. 26 among American colleges and universities, which dominated the rankings, accounting for 10 of the top 12 institutions and 16 of the top 20. The top three were Harvard University, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Other Virginia schools in the top 1,000 included Virginia Commonwealth University (No. 259), Virginia Tech (No. 260), The College of William & Mary (No. 375), George Mason University (No. 397) and Old Dominion University (No. 643).

UVA Professor’s River Park Named 2016’s Top Landscape Architecture Project

A river park in Pamplona, Spain designed by the landscape architecture firm headed by Iñaki Alday, Quesada Professor of Architecture and chair of the Department of Architecture in UVA’s School of Architecture, and Margarita Jover, a professor of practice in the aRchitecture School, recently received Azure magazine’s Jury Prize as the world’s best landscape architecture work of 2016.

Aranzadi Park, designed by aldayjover architecture and landscape, “was recognized as a reference of a new paradigm in the relation between public space and river floods, as well as with the agricultural landscape and tradition that has shaped the territory for centuries,” Alday wrote. “The design worked a delicate balance between the centennial orchards, the people and the new floodable spaces that offer relief to the river while avoiding damages and generating new and rich wetlands.”

The project also earned the magazine’s People’s Choice Award for Environmental Leadership.

The park’s first phase was completed in 2013 with the recovery of vegetable gardens – for social use, species preservation and education of the public – plus the creation of a floodable forest and paths, piazzas and connections with the city of Pamplona. Among the park’s facilities is Fundagro, a foundation devoted to the education of farmers and the exhibition of the orchards, farming and the gastronomy of the region.

Alday and Jover’s architecture firm won an international design competition in 2008 to lead the park’s design, and worked with agronomist and landscape architect Roser Vives and the engineering companies ABM, PYP, Estudio Ros and BIS, Artec 3 Lighting Design, and Benedicto Project Management to bring it to reality.

U.S. News Rankings Feature Four UVA Children’s Hospital Specialties

U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-17 “Best Children’s Hospitals” guide highlights four nationally ranked specialties at the UVA Children’s Hospital.

The four ranked specialties are urology (35th), cardiology/heart surgery (37th), neonatology (38th) and nephrology (49th).

“This honor is really about our providers – our doctors, our nurses, all our staff – who bring their enthusiasm and their passion for their work every single day,” said Dr. James Nataro, physician-in-chief at UVA Children’s Hospital.

U.S. News seeks to identify hospitals that provide the highest-quality care for patients with serious or complex health needs, based on criteria that include:

  • Patient safety and patient outcomes, including steps to prevent infections;
  • Advanced, specialized clinics and programs for children;
  • Access to clinical trials and other clinical research designed to improve care;
  • Commitment to quality improvement; and
  • A national survey of pediatric specialists.

Academic Peers Honor Two UVA Law Professors for Their Scholarship

Two UVA School of Law professors have been honored nationally by their peers for their accomplishments in their respective fields of law.

Caleb E. Nelson was elected to the American Law Institute, which added 41 new members June 28. The institute attempts to clarify, modernize and improve the law by publishing restatements of the law, model codes and principles of law.

Nelson is the Emerson G. Spies Distinguished Professor of Law and Elizabeth D. and Richard A. Merrill Professor. He teaches and writes about civil procedure, federal courts, statutory interpretation and constitutional law. His articles have appeared in many leading law reviews, including the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review and the Virginia Law Review. Nelson joined the UVA law faculty as an associate professor in 1998.

Also in June, the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University named Michael Livermore as its 2016 Haub Environmental Law Distinguished Junior Scholar. The school’s environmental law faculty present the national award each year to a law professor who exhibits excellence in scholarship early in his or her career. The faculty solicits nominations from law professors throughout the country and selects a recipient from that pool of nominations.

Livermore joined the Law School as an associate professor in 2013. His primary teaching and research interests are in administrative law, computational analysis of legal texts, environmental law, cost-benefit analysis and regulation. He has published numerous books, chapters and articles on these topics, with a special focus on the role of interest groups and public-choice dynamics in shaping the application and methodology of cost-benefit analysis.

UVA Nursing Professor to Lead American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Clareen Wiencek – an associate professor of nursing at the UVA School of Nursing and program director of advanced practice – has been elected president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the world’s largest specialty nursing association, effective July 1.

Wiencek has nearly 40 years of experience as a bedside nurse in critical care, nurse manager, educator and researcher, and worked at the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond for four years before joining the faculty at UVA in 2015.

“I’ve experienced the power of being part of the AACN community, as it has helped me on my nursing journey,” Wiencek said. “Our contributions as nurses matter and our work environment matters, if we are to best meet the needs of patients and families. Together our community of exceptional nurses can drive change that makes a difference in the coming year and beyond.”

UVA Stroke Program Receives Two National Quality Awards

For meeting national guidelines to provide fast, high-quality stroke care, the UVA Health System’s stroke program has received national awards from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. 

UVA earned the 2016 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and was also named to the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite. According to the American Heart Association, the awards recognize UVA’s commitment to providing stroke care using nationally recognized guidelines based on the most recent research. 

To receive the Gold Plus Achievement Award, UVA demonstrated a compliance rate of 85 percent or more for 24 consecutive months with the core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. UVA also demonstrated a compliance rate of 75 percent or more with five of eight stroke quality measures in the most recent 12-month period.  

UVA earned the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite award by having 75 percent or more of stroke patients who should receive tPA – a clot-busting stroke treatment drug – get the drug within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital, which is key to improving patient outcomes. 

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

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