The University of Tennessee is five steps closer to its goal of becoming a Top 25 university.

UT-LogoThe University of Tennessee is five steps closer to its goal of becoming a Top 25 university.

That’s how many spots it jumped since last year, coming in at No. 47 on the U.S. News & World Reports’ annual rankings of public universities.

This is UT’s first time back in the Top 50 since 2008, when it was ranked No. 45.

In 2006, the school was No. 38, falling slowly each year until it hit No. 52 in 2009 and 2010.

UT owes its uptick to a slight rise in graduation rates, freshman to sophomore retention rates and its reputation among other institutions.

The first two are among the measures Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said he intends to tackle immediately with his plan to lead UT into the Top 25.

In the last year, the university has created distinguished fellowships in a partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to attract top-flight graduate students to do research.

It’s also filled several governor’s chairs, as well as partnered with ORNL to bring in professors doing unique research in cutting-edge fields.

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Source: Megan Boehnke | Knoxville News Sentinel
Photo: University of Tennessee