Friday August 27, 2010

High Marks for Giving Back

Dayton is 77th in ranking of national universities that asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country.

Washington Monthly magazine gives the University of Dayton high marks for living its motto of "Learn. Lead. Serve." 

The University of Dayton jumped from No. 114 to No. 77 — 37 spots — in the magazine's 2010 ranking of 258 national universities released in this month's issue.

The rankings measure schools' graduation rates, research expenditures, and the number of students who give back to their country. The University also is a top 10 Catholic university, according to the rankings.

"Calling attention to these service-oriented schools is one of the reasons this magazine got into the college-ranking business in the first place. When we published our first ranking in 2005, the idea was to upend the traditional notion of a college guide. Instead of asking what a college could do for you, we asked, 'What are colleges doing for the country?,'" Washington Monthly editors wrote. "Colleges and universities do as much to shape the future as any institutions you can think of. They conduct cutting-edge research that drives economic growth, provide upward mobility to people of humble birth and mold the characters of tomorrow’s leaders. So we all have a stake in knowing how well schools fulfill their public missions."

In the service category, the University ranked 27th in the category of "staff supporting community service, relative to the total number of staff; the number of academic courses that incorporate service, relative to school size; and whether the institution provides scholarships for community service." Dayton is 35th when considering number of students participating in community service and the total number of service hours performed. The University is 47th for the number of graduates going on to serve in the Peace Corps, relative to school size.

In the social mobility category, the University ranked 31st for achieving a nine-point difference between predicted and actual graduation rates. The predicted rate is 66 percent while the actual rate is 75 percent.

The University ranked in the top half of research expenditures and the number of bachelor's degree recipients who go on to receive doctoral degrees, relative to school size.

The University's service to community also was recognized within the last year with inclusion in the 2009 "Saviors of Our Cities" ranking and the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

"Servant leadership is a foundation on which the University of Dayton was founded," University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran said. "Our aim is to educate and transform students to become servant leaders in our Catholic and Marianist tradition so they can make a difference in the world."

The Washington Monthly ranking comes on the heels of other recently released national rankings.

Dayton tied for 99th in the U.S. News & World Report's recent ranking of national universities and was among the top 10 national Catholic universities.

The Princeton Review's 2011 edition of The Best 373 Colleges lists the University of Dayton as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education. The University made five of The Princeton Review's top-20 lists: eighth in "Everybody Plays Intramural Sports," 16th in "Happiest Students," 18th in "Easiest Campus to Get Around," 19th in "School Runs Like Butter," which rates how smoothly the school is operated, and 20th in "Best Quality of Life."

The University of Dayton also is listed among the 40 best colleges in Acceptance, by Dave Marcus, a national guide for college applicants; the 2011 edition of The Fiske Guide to Colleges by Edward B. Fiske, which features more than 300 of the country's best colleges and universities; and Forbes.com's list of the top 15 percent of American colleges and universities.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.