UT ranks 47th among all public universities

UT ranks 47th among all public universities

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"We do a superb job of teaching young men and young women. They get great jobs and opportunities when they graduate from here," said UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek. "We do a superb job of teaching young men and young women. They get great jobs and opportunities when they graduate from here," said UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek.
"I'm glad to be here because that means I'm at one of the best schools in the nation," said UT freshman Emmanuel Gyebison. "I'm glad to be here because that means I'm at one of the best schools in the nation," said UT freshman Emmanuel Gyebison.
"I only have one class that's really big. It's a lecture, but most of my classes are small. I have a lot of one on one time with my professors and it's really great," said UT freshman Kurtisha Norris. "I only have one class that's really big. It's a lecture, but most of my classes are small. I have a lot of one on one time with my professors and it's really great," said UT freshman Kurtisha Norris.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The University of Tennessee has once again nabbed a spot on the list of best universities in the country.

The U.S. News and World Report 2014 rankings released Tuesday morning place UT at 47th among all public universities.

While that's actually one spot lower than last year, UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek says he's proud of the ranking and the progress the school continues to make.

The report says UT has improved in several areas over the last year, including a higher six-year graduation rate, alumni giving, faculty resources, better assessment from high school counselors and more classes with fewer than 20 students.

"I only have one class that's really big. It's a lecture, but most of my classes are small. I have a lot of one on one time with my professors and it's really great," said UT freshman Kurtisha Norris.

"I'm glad to be here because that means I'm at one of the best schools in the nation," said UT freshman Emmanuel Gyebison.

Greater emphasis was placed on graduation rates by U.S. News when compiling this year's list.

While Cheek says this is something UT has improved on in recent years, increased focus must be placed on further improvement if Tennessee hopes to accomplish its goal of becoming a Top 25 university.

Cheek says the graduation rate has risen from 60 to 68 percent in the last four years.

"Our goal is to get at least to 75 percent. We're at 68 percent this year. We hope to get to 70 percent the following year. We're well on our way to get that goal," said Cheek.

UT pledged in 2012 to become a Top 25 public research university by 2020.

"The primary reason we entered into this whole discussion was to make our educational institution better for the students who come here and better for the state of Tennessee who funds us," said Cheek.

Cheek believes UT is well on its way, and is working to improve every year.

Cheek says the one spot drop in this year's rankings doesn't fully reflect the improvement UT as a whole has made over the last year, considering the U.S. News report only studies undergrad programs.

"We do a superb job of teaching young men and young women. They get great jobs and opportunities when they graduate from here," said Cheek.

Cheek says the university has focused on improving the graduate and research programs as well when working towards its Top 25, but there is no ranking that measures that broad of a set of data.

"That's a really good goal. I have high expectations for myself and I'm glad the school has high expectations too," said Gyebison.

Cheek says the university has vastly improved, citing numerous construction and renovation projects on campus, $65 million in grants and contracts over the last year and $92 million in fundraising.

For more information on the Top 25 goal, visit UT's website.

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