Accolades: New National Rankings, Jefferson Scholars Honor Faculty Members

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Accolades: New National Rankings, Jefferson Scholars Honor Faculty Members

Business First, a Buffalo, New York-based business publication, ranked the University of Virginia fourth among 499 of the nation’s public colleges and universities in its third annual rankings.

“Business First’s formula was designed to identify the public universities and colleges that offer the best educational experiences to their students,” the publication wrote. “The highest scores went to schools with highly selective admissions processes, strong retention and graduation rates, impressive earnings by alumni, generous resources, affordable tuitions and housing costs, diverse faculties and student bodies, and economically robust communities.”

The top five public colleges – the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of California-Berkeley, UVA and the University of California-Los Angeles – each have admission rates below 30.6 percent, retention rates above 96.2 percent and four-year graduation rates better than 73.3 percent, the publication noted.

This year’s Business First rankings encompass the public colleges that grant bachelor’s degrees and supplied a full set of data to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Rounding out the top 10 were the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Washington, the University of Illinois-Champaign, the University of Maryland-College Park and the College of William & Mary.

Jefferson Scholars Foundation Awards Faculty Trio for Excellence in Teaching

Three faculty members were recognized last week for their exceptional commitment to classroom teaching at an awards ceremony at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.

Cassandra Fraser from the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts & Sciences; Amanda Kibler from the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education in the Curry School of Education; and Anneke Schroen from the Department of Surgery in the School of Medicine received the foundation’s 2017 Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation honored, from left, Cassandra Fraser, Amanda Kibler and Anneke Schroen for their exceptional commitment to classroom teaching.

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation honored, from left, Cassandra Fraser, Amanda Kibler and Anneke Schroen for their exceptional commitment to classroom teaching.

Every year the foundation invites department chairs from across the University to nominate a full-time faculty member who has “endeavored selflessly to instill in their students the virtues of scholarship and love of learning.” The selected winners receive $5,000 and are invited to take part in a variety of academic programming that occurs at the foundation every year.

 “This award is an opportunity for the foundation to recognize and showcase faculty who exemplify the three criteria that are the pillars of our mission: scholarship, leadership and citizenship,” Ben Skipper, the foundation’s director of graduate and undergraduate programs, said.

The foundation, which has long provided scholarships for outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, has expanded its efforts to recognize excellence at the University by establishing a series of faculty award programs. In the last 10 years, the foundation has awarded more than $450,000 to approximately 50 faculty members.

­ – Joyce Carmen


UVA’s MFA Programs Make Top-10 List; McIntire Master’s in Tech Also Ranked

College Choice, a college-decision website which frequently issues rankings of various academic programs, listed the University’s Master of Fine Arts programs No. 8 in the nation in a new ranking issued in March. This week, it rated the McIntire School of Commerce’s Master of Science in the Management of Information Technology program No. 20 in the nation.

UVA’s College of Arts & Sciences offers the M.F.A. in both drama and creative writing.

College Choice collated and compared the academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability and average annual salary of early career artists from M.F.A. programs across the country to create its ranking. Criteria included retention rates, economic accessibility and the averages of early career salaries, as reported by PayScale. 


The top 10 in the M.F.A. rankings: Carnegie Mellon University, Yale University, the University of California-Los Angeles, Cornell University, Columbia University, the University of California-San Diego, the University of Michigan, UVA, Johns Hopkins University and Brown University.

McIntire’s M.S. in MIT program is a one-year, executive-style program “recognized as a leader in developing technology-savvy business decision-makers,” according to College Choice. “The program is designed to help students understand how current and emerging technologies can best be applied to make their organizations more profitable, productive and competitive. The program offers an innovative curriculum that employs a real-world, problem-solving approach and an outstanding faculty dedicated to teaching and bringing the corporate perspective into the classroom.”

The information technology rankings were based on cost, reputation and return on investment, according to the announcement.

Outstanding Workplace Education Partnership Award

The Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education recently gave UVA’s Department of Facilities Management its Outstanding Workplace Education Partnership Award, recognizing the University’s GED and English as a Second Language programs. University Human Resources partners with Charlottesville Adult Learning Center to offer the classes.

As a partner and sponsor of this program, UVA’s Center for Leadership Excellence attended the award ceremony. In accepting the award, Diane Ober, who coordinates the program, said, “I believe that for many employees, this is the foundation for believing in themselves, and having the confidence to plan career goals.”

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

Office of University Communications