Our success in becoming a Top 25 public research university is measured by more than U.S. News and World Report’s annual "Best Colleges" rankings.
Unlike the U.S. News rankings, our metrics encompass research and graduate education. These are critical to the state’s economy, job growth, and need for a more educated workforce. These activities are what make us a flagship university.
We measure our success by the eleven very specific metrics outlined in this report. Some of these metrics are closely aligned with the current methodology used by U.S. News. Others are not. They were chosen to challenge us to be better—for ourselves and for the benefit of the state of Tennessee.
Focusing our efforts on improving undergraduate education has proved fruitful over the last two years. The academic caliber of our students remains on par with Top 25 schools, and we have made progress in our retention and six-year graduation rates—two key metrics by which we gauge our success.
We have lost ground in the number of graduate and professional degrees we have conferred since 2010. But we are not alone.
New enrollment in graduate schools across the nation has fallen for two years in a row, according to the Council of Graduate Schools. As a response, we are focused on placing high-achieving graduate students in new and more competitive assistantships and fellowships, and we have already significantly improved our admissions process, particularly for international students.
We’ve made progress in both of our research expenditure metrics—numbers generated by the National Science Foundation. These figures help us measure our success in supporting research activities and are used by the research and academic communities to compare us to other institutions.
The core of any great university is its faculty. The faculty teaches our students. The faculty leads our research. The faculty brings national attention to our achievements. With that fact in mind, we have taken great strides to recruit and retain talented and dedicated faculty members.
Though we measure our progress in infrastructure and resources improvements by the size of our endowment and expenditures per student, this priority encompasses a much broader picture.
We must balance our growing operational needs with our strategic plan and the associated price tags for meeting our goals. We are focused on accountability and staying affordable and accessible to all qualified students who wish to become Volunteers.
When faculty, staff, and students believe in our potential, they provide momentum that fuels our journey and an energy that reverberates far beyond our campus.
Faculty members who became fellows in the American Association of the Advancement of Science
UT’s national rank for number of NEH research fellowships
Additional Living and Learning Communities
Total number of dropped classes each student is now allowed
New endowed chairs and professorships created
New academic advisors added across the university
Our campus community believes in our potential and departments across campus are talking about how to make their program a Top 25 operation.
- Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek
Percentage of 2012–13 incoming freshmen with a 4.0 GPA
Student-athletes named to the 2011–12 SEC Honor Roll
Campus buildings now on the National Register of Historic Places
Graduate programs ranked, nationally, in the Top 10
Terabytes of memory now installed in UT’s Nautilus supercomputer
Instructors hired to teach high-demand courses
Degrees awarded during the 2011–12 academic year
It’s been three years since our journey to the Top 25 began, and our goals are no longer just numbers in a bar chart or graph. Our journey has sparked a great energy that is improving our students’ experience and yielding tangible results.
Part of the journey is accountability, and throughout this report, you will see where we have had success and where we still have work to do to reach our aggressive goals.
Join us on our journey,
Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System