UT fell one spot to No. 46 on U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 national university rankings.
University spokesperson Tara Doolittle said the publication gave UT a lower score partially based on decreased faculty resources and increased class sizes compared to last year.
UT remained in the No. 13 spot for public universities, despite recent budget cuts by the state Legislature.
“We have a long history of making do with what we’ve got and putting priorities in places that have the most impact on student success,” Doolittle said. “We are pleased with the rankings.”
Doolittle said UT will continue to make ends meet with whatever resources are available, but budget changes can impact metrics used to rank UT, including class size and financial aid.
“If there are areas where we receive more money or areas where we see cutbacks, there are likely to be trickle-down effects,” Doolittle said. “But remember this is not in isolation.
There are other public universities going through many of the same things we are.”
The methods U.S. News and World Report uses to rank schools are often the subject of debate. Doolittle said U.S.
News and World Report left out an important measure: efficiency.
“We do not have the same resources that Yale has, or a lot of the [resources] privates have,” she said. “If there would be a way to include that in the metrics, that would be something we would be interested in seeing and give people an even better picture of what the University of Texas at Austin has to offer.”
Electrical engineering freshman Hanpei Zhang said the rankings drop does not concern him.
“I have never really been worried about UT’s ranking in general,” Zhang said. “To me, all the top tier schools are about the same.”
Journalism graduate student Dagny Asase said she is not worried about the rankings as long as UT does not cut programs or departments to make ends meet.
“If UT can maintain the courses or department in some way regardless of what is happening to the budget, it shouldn’t be too much of a concern,” Asase said. “But it’s definitely something everybody should be knowledgeable of.”
Printed on Thursday, September 13, 2012 as: UT slips one spot in college rankings