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U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2011KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, joined the ranks of the nation’s Top 50 public institutions, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2011 undergraduate rankings released today.

UT Knoxville ranked 47th among all public universities, up five spots from last year, and 104th among all national universities in the list that includes 260 American universities offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

UT Knoxville’s business and engineering programs also continue to be ranked among the nation’s top public institutions. The College of Business Administration’s undergraduate supply chain management/logistics program was seventh among public institutions and ninth nationally. UT’s overall undergraduate business program was ranked 34th among public universities. The College of Engineering’s undergraduate program was ranked 37th among public universities.

“We are proud of the progress we’ve made in increasing the quality and value of a UT Knoxville education,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “We will continue to strengthen our research, academics and impact as we pursue our quest to make UT Knoxville a Top 25 public research university.”

More than 20 percent of the U.S. News overall rankings are based on undergraduate academic reputation. Other key measures of quality include graduation and retention rates, faculty resources and student selectivity.

Retention rates for UT Knoxville are 83.5 percent, up from 82.5 percent last year. The magazine reports three-year averages of freshmen who returned to campus the following fall semester. UT Knoxville’s four-year retention rate has increased 6 percent over the last five years.

“Improving graduation and retention rates are key to moving this institution forward,” Cheek said. “While we’ve made notable strides, we’re focused on a long-term, comprehensive effort that will lead to more significant results in this area. We will graduate our students in a more timely manner and provide them with better resources during their education at UT Knoxville.”

While the university’s six-year graduation rate of about 60 percent is the highest among Tennessee’s public universities, Cheek seeks to improve rates as they compare to UT Knoxville’s peer institutions that rank among the Top 25 public universities. Other key benchmarks involved in bringing UT Knoxville to the Top 25 ranks include expanding graduate education, enhancing the university’s research base and recruiting and retaining top faculty.

C O N T A C T :

Kristi Hintz (865-974-3993,