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KNOXVILLE — The undergraduate program in the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is now rated among the top 25 schools at public institutions, according to the 2009 U.S. News and World Report rankings released today.

Among business schools at public universities, UT’s program is 24th, up from 36th last year. In overall business college rankings across the nation, the undergraduate business program jumped to 43rd this year from 58th last year. The college’s supply chain management/logistics program was 7th nationally, up one spot from last year, and fifth among publics.

“We are very proud our program is recognized as one of the top 50 in the U.S. and top 25 for publics,” said Jan Williams, dean of the College of Business Administration. “Our enhanced programming in international business, supply chain, and innovation and entrepreneurship is continuing to differentiate our programs. Our reputation as a college is definitely catching up with the quality of our offering.”

U.S. News and World Report also ranked UT Knoxville at 51 among all public universities. UT is tied with the University of Oklahoma, University of Oregon and University of South Carolina-Columbia among public universities.

UT Knoxville placed 108th among all national universities. The national universities group includes 262 American universities — 164 are public — that offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

The placement is a few notches down from last year’s report — 45th among public universities and 96th overall.

“While we are disappointed about being ranked lower than last year in U.S. News and World Report, our overall momentum and progress toward key goals remains quite strong. We are recruiting the best and brightest students in our history and retaining and attracting some of the nation’s most talented faculty,” said Interim Chancellor Jan Simek.

Roughly 20 percent of the ranking is based on state funding of higher education, namely per-student spending and faculty compensation.

Simek said improvements of the academic credentials of entering freshmen this year — with a 26.6 average ACT score and a core grade-point average of 3.76 -– are significant indicators of academic quality. Both scores are the highest ever for a new entering class.
UT initiated in 2006 an extensive effort to improve student retention and student success. The Student Success Center, which offers advising, tutoring and other services, opened in 2005. UT LEAD is a program intended to increase retention by offering academic counseling, seminars and workshops for students who have received the Pledge and Promise Scholarships.

“Many of our efforts have had a dramatic and immediate impact on our students, but they are comprehensive strategies that may not change the overall numbers that U.S. News evaluates for several years,” Simek said. “Our main priority and responsibility is to make investments to ensure that our students receive the very best education and support along with the experiences to prepare them for competing in a global society.”

Freshman retention has risen in the 2009 survey to 81 percent, up from 80 percent as reported in the 2008 edition. The magazine reports an average over four years.

The freshman retention rate has increased from 78 percent for students who entered in 2003 to 84 percent for the freshmen who entered in 2006.

Simek pointed to progress reported by U.S. News in vital areas like private support.

“We have made strides in alumni giving as a direct reflection of the Campaign for Tennessee,” said Simek. “The enthusiastic support of committed alumni and their ability to engage others is a key factor in moving the institution forward, particularly to begin and advance our key initiatives.”

UT Knoxville has raised more than $482 million, nearly 80 percent of the campus’ campaign goal for 2011. UT alumni giving is 12 percent in the 2009 magazine edition, up from 11 percent in the 2008.


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,