The University of Memphis is now ranked among the top public institutions in the nation according to a U.S.News World Report poll.

The UofM is ranked 272nd among national universities, 138th in top performers and social mobility and 135th in top public schools.

USNWR said that the UofM is one of two high-research public universities in the state of Tennessee, the other being the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and is designated as a community-engaged university by the Carnegie Foundation.

M. David Rudd, President of the UofM, said the university’s hard work is paying off and they will continue this work in the future.

“It’s good to see the exceptional work being done on our campus start to get some well-deserved and hard-earned national recognition,” Rudd said. “At the heart of these rankings is student success. We’ll continue to work to help our students be successful, have the creative and impactful research of our faculty recognized, and our university recognized and appreciated nationally.”

Rudd said that the ranking could improve future enrollment at the UofM as well as its public image.

“It should help expand an already growing national footprint,” Rudd said. “For many years now, the UofM has had its graduate programs nationally ranked, and expanded the number significantly in the past five years, visibility and ranking of our undergraduate programs helps move the institution as a whole forward.”

Rudd said this achievement plays a critical role in The UofM achieving Carnegie 1 status.

“We’re not far from achieving Carnegie 1 status and are making the investments necessary to achieve that goal,” Rudd said “This first step is the result of hard work by many people at the UofM. It’s gratifying to see their hard work recognized and valued. We’ve got a long way to go to achieve our goals, but we’re off to a good start.”

Otis Sanford, a journalism professor at the UofM, said this ranking can only benefit the university.

“I do know this university has taken major strides to improve academically, become a top tier university, to get on these kind of rankings,” Sanford said.  “Also, to grow enrollment and graduation rate and to do a lot more as far as research is concerned.” 

Sanford said this ranking might give the UofM more of the spotlight as far as public image goes.

“I think that more people will start to look at the University of Memphis in different ways than those probably thought. ‘Well, I don’t want to consider it for myself. It’s not a top tier university. You need to be thinking about more prestigious places.’ And there are still people that are still going to do that,” Sanford said. “I think this will make a lot of people, not just here in the greater Memphis area, but outside of the city, take another look at the University of Memphis. I mean the education that is provided here is certainly not that expensive when compared to other schools, sow I think it will make people look at the university as a place that maybe, they or their children might want to come to.”

Sanford said he thinks the UofM will continue to expand in different ways.

“I see the potential for more construction and growth on the campus taking place. I see that the university will only continue to move up that list,” Sanford said. “I see the university being even more engaged with the community, with business, with social issues, with media and art. All the things this community is trying to do, the university already is a part of, but I think they will be even more so in the future.”

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