University hits highest ranking ever; honored for teaching, innovation
At the release of last year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings of America’s Best Colleges, Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Seven is the perfect number—until we reach six!” Today Belmont leapt right over position No. 6 to land at No. 5 in the Best Regional Universities—South category, the University’s highest placement in its history. Since 2003, Belmont has risen 16 spots on the nation’s prestigious rankings chart, from 21st to 5th.
Fisher said, “There are times when even I am speechless. Rising to the Top 5 in U.S. News represents a key element of Belmont’s Vision 2015 plan. To reach this level of prominence already demonstrates the immense dedication and talents of Belmont’s faculty, staff and students in accomplishing what has clearly been an ambitious University goal. One thing’s certain: complacency is not an option. We will continue our efforts to seek positive change and growth at every opportunity.”
Belmont was also honored for the third year in a row by fellow college administrators as a top “Up-and-Comer” for making “the most promising and innovating changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities.” Recognizing Belmont’s vision to be a “leader among teaching universities,” Belmont was ranked second in the South category for strong commitment to undergraduate teaching and for learning communities.
In the Best Regional Universities-South category, Belmont is again the highest-ranked university of the 15 ranked Tennessee institutions and in the top five of the 118 schools included from the South. On some of the most important indicators used to determine the ranking, Belmont has improved over the previous year rising from 3.5 to 3.7 in its peer assessment and improving both freshmen retention and graduation rates to 80 and 65 percent respectively. Belmont ascended two spots from its ranking in the 2010 issue of 7, joining other stellar regional institutions Rollins College, Elon University, James Madison University and Stetson University in the top five.
Interim Provost and Massey Dean of the College of Business Administration Dr. Pat Raines added, “The improvement in our peer ratings proves Belmont University’s growing national reputation for the high quality of our academic programs and the commitment of our faculty to teaching. Engaging students in transformative learning is at the heart of all we do. To be recognized as a Top 5 university for all of our efforts is both humbling and gratifying.”
Expected to announce another record-breaking enrollment this fall, Belmont remains the largest Christian university in Tennessee and one of the fastest growing in the nation. Belmont’s incoming freshmen arrive on campus this Saturday with classes beginning Aug. 25.