UT Ranks Near Top In Serving The Public Good

Rankings, rankings, rankings. We love to hate them — especially when they call us a party school — but there is a certain satisfaction to seeing how we stack up.

Counteracting all those party rankings today comes an unusual list: schools that serve the public good.

And UT scored beautifully on it, coming in fifth nationally. The top four were all California schools: UC San Diego, Berkeley, UCLA, and Stanford, respectively.

Washington Monthly magazine did the ranking, basing it on three criteria: social mobility, research, and service. Social mobility includes recruitment and graduation rates for low-income students. Research considers annual expenditures and doctoral degree production. And service takes into account community volunteering and Peace Corps participation rates.

The idea behind this ranking, which was first done in 2005, is not to ask what your college can do for you, but what your college can do for the country.

After all, the magazine says, “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.”

Sounds like public funding well invested, doesn’t it?

Regardless of how scientific this survey is, it’s refreshing to see universities judged on something besides money, test scores, and “prestige.” Let’s get out the good news.

Photo: These two students were among the 1,000 who volunteered for Project 2010, a March community service day during which they spruced up the St. John neighborhood on Austin’s east side. Photo by Rebecca Fontenot/The Alcalde.


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