The University of Kansas moved up three spots in U.S. News and World Report’s new ranking of the nation’s top public universities.
The rankings, released Tuesday, had the University of Kansas in a tie for 53 on its list of public national universities and a tie for 115 on its broader list of national universities. Kansas State University tied for 73rd in public national universities and for 145th in national universities.
The two schools tied with each other — at 78 — for the best undergraduate engineering programs.
In a news release issued Tuesday, University of Kansas officials pinned the rise on the university’s work to increase graduation rates.
The university’s new chancellor, Douglas A. Girod, said in the release that the officials were “always happy to improve our standing.”
“Still, our focus remains on broader efforts,” Girod said. “We will continue to emphasize improving the student experience, reaching out to the state of Kansas and bolstering our research enterprise.”
Girod was named chancellor in May after former Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little decided to retire.
Neeli Bendapudi, provost and executive vice chancellor, said in the release that the ranking was the positive result of the university’s work to get more students through their degrees.
“Through the KU Core, which focuses on the total educational experience, and a number of student-support initiatives, we are improving our students’ ability to graduate and to graduate on time,” Bendapudi said. “Because our long-term efforts take years to show success, I am truly excited to see where we’ll be next year and the year after.”
The university’s business program, formerly run by Bendapudi, climbed 14 spots and tied for 27th among public universities, according to the release.
Washburn University in Topeka tied for 93 on the list of regional universities in the Midwest. Among top public regional universities, it tied for 23.
Both The University of Kansas and Kansas State University also ranked on the list of best value universities — KU at 89 and K-State at 129. According to the release, the University of Kansas was 22nd on the list of best value schools for public universities.
The two schools tied for 78th in engineering, and the University of Kansas fell three spots to rank 47th for engineering at public universities, according to the release.
Officials with Kansas State University did not immediately provide a statement on the school’s rankings.
Washburn University officials declined to comment on the school’s rankings.