The University of Texas at Austin is tied for the second-most efficient public university in the country, according to a new internal analysis released today.
The report comes out in advance of* the first meeting of UT’s new task force on graduation rates. The University’s six-year graduation rate is 81 percent, 13th-best among the nation’s 120 public research universities. UT’s four-year rate is in the low 50s, still behind peer institutions but up 60 percent since 1994.
“Much of the current debate surrounding higher education reform in Texas focuses on achieving efficiency in public colleges and universities,” writes author Marc Musick, a sociology professor and associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts. “By several key measures, The University of Texas at Austin already does this exceedingly well.”
Musick compared UT’s tuition rates, state revenue support, graduation rates, and number of faculty against the 120 other public research universities in the country.
UT ranks 10th in the percentage of students it graduates for every public dollar it receives, and second in the number of faculty it employs for every public dollar it receives.
Musick’s report suggests a far more efficient and well-run institution than the widely criticized reports by Richard Vedder and Rick O’Donnell, which suggested UT-Austin was a hulking, wasteful bureaucracy filled with coasting, dodging faculty members.
Data from other institutions, Musick writes, suggest that possible keys to increasing graduation rates include lowering the student-faculty ratio and hiring high-potential faculty who can rise to the ranks of full professors.
*Editor’s Note: The first meeting of the task force on graduation rates actually took place in July.
Creative Commons photo courtesy of Jim Nix via Flickr.