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Lipscomb jumps six spots to number 19 in U.S. News' 2008 rankings

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lipscomb University has jumped ahead six spots to a ranking of 19 among master’s degree institutions in the South, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s “2009 America’s Best Colleges” guidebook, which goes on sale Monday.

Lipscomb has rapidly climbed in the U.S. News rankings since 2002 when the university debuted in the “Best Universities – Master’s” category at 33rd (previously Lipscomb was listed in the “Liberal Arts Colleges” category). The 2008 ranking is the highest Lipscomb has ever achieved in the master’s category.

“2008 is a milestone year for Lipscomb with the launch of the new College of Pharmacy, another expected record year for enrollment, and the opening of several new green buildings on campus. Many of our long-term efforts are now bearing fruit, and it is exciting and gratifying to see all our hard work acknowledged on a national level,” said Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry.

“More than measuring quality, the U.S. News rankings are evidence of our university’s growing visibility on a national scale,” Lowry said. “We have had quite a summer with U.S. Senator Bob Corker on campus to discuss national energy policy, the president of Madagascar visiting and sending 26 students to our campus, and nationally known leaders in theology and political thought converging at Lipscomb in June. This ranking is another sign of our increasing global engagement and leadership.”

Two key areas of improvement for Lipscomb were student selectivity and faculty resources.

In 2007, 52 percent of the incoming freshmen were ranked academically in the top 25 percent of their high school class, an increase of five percentage points from 2006.

“More and more students are recognizing the quality education Lipscomb provides and that has allowed us to be more selective in our admissions policies,” said Ricky Holaway, Lipscomb’s Director of Admissions. “We are constantly striving to provide the best academic environment possible for our students.”

Part of creating a strong academic environment is students’ positive contact with faculty. This area also improved in the 2008 rankings, with the number of classes with 20 students or less increasing by 7 percentage points to 61 percent and the number of classes with more than 50 students lowering to just 2 percent.

Many of these small classes are at the graduate level, where Lipscomb has experienced rapid growth in the past three years. Nine graduate programs and a concentration in environmental sustainability have been added since 2006, and the university is a expecting a record-setting graduate enrollment when classes begin Monday.

The beginning of classes is also expected to bring the fifth straight year of undergraduate admissions increases, said Lowry.

Many of those new students will attend classes in the newly-renovated Burton Health Sciences Center, home of the new College of Pharmacy, and live in the new 168-bed, apartment-style residence hall called The Village at Lipscomb. Both buildings were constructed using green building techniques and have added crucial laboratories, meeting spaces and housing for students and summer visitors to campus.

Lipscomb University is a Christian community of scholars dedicated to learning, leading and serving, preparing students for excellence in leadership and service today, tomorrow and forever.

Students can earn a bachelor’s degree in 90 fields of study and several pre-professional programs. Lipscomb offers 22 fields of study at the master’s level, a doctoral degree in pharmacy and an accelerated adult degree program for those who wish to complete their undergraduate degrees in the evening.