Washburn ranks sixth overall of Midwest institutions

Jill Martin

Washburn University, home of the Ichabods. With those words, a million instances, experiences, memories and life-altering occasions run through the minds of many.

On top of being successful in athletics, student life and organizations, Washburn is well known for its exceptional academic reputation. Of course, people who attend Washburn are going to assume they are getting a high quality education; but for the eighth consecutive year, other universities and institutions have agreed.

This year Washburn ranked sixth among the Midwest’s 52 public universities along with 94 private universities. The rankings were based on freshmen retention, graduation rate, class size, student-to-faculty ratio, quality of students, a peer assessment and alumni giving. All rankings were literally only two-tenths of most other universities. Washburn is the highest ranked Kansas institution among all other similar universities. The university is also the only Kansas institution ranked in the top quarter.

Jerry Farley, president of Washburn, said the university’s most appealing factor is the ability to communicate with the community and other institutions about progress and success stories.

“We have a great academic reputation,” said Farley. “Also, Washburn is renowned for its visible attributes of success. We are letting everyone know what exactly is being accomplished nearly everyday.”

With rankings in the top 10 for the past eight years, any institution would gladly boast of its success. However, what Farley is most proud of is that these accolades are coming from outside Washburn.

“With the ranking, it mostly makes me proud,” said Farley. “Also, it gives us reason to be even more proud because it is not just the staff, faculty or students, it is other institutions congratulating the university’s successes.”

Currently, Washburn is increasing its academic standing through the Transformational Experience, a graduation requirement for all those enrolling at Washburn after 2005. Farley deems only success for the future.

“I see nothing that is changing that will diminish our reputation,” said Farley. “I believe the Transformational Experience will only enhance our future.”

Top 10 Midwest Public Universities:1. Truman State University, Kirksville, Mo.2. University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls3. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse4. University of Michigan-Dearborn5. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire6. Washburn University7. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point8. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Mich.9. Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville10.University of Minnesota-Duluth