Colleges in the ranks

Miriam Arias/ Staff Writer

The University has been good to the public.

Last month, the Washington Monthly released their annual college rankings, a list that ranks universities based on their contribution to the public good. The three categories universities are rated on are: social mobility, recruiting and graduating low-income students; research, producing cutting-edge scholarships and doctorate degrees; and service, encouraging students to give back to their country.

In the overall ranks, FIU placed 53rd out of 281 colleges and universities. “This is a ranking that shows we are doing very well in the area we feel most important for us to do well in,” University Provost Douglas Wartzok said.

FIU placed above other Florida colleges such as NSU, FAU and UM, while only placing under the University of Florida.

During the past academic year, FIU also got a few spots in other national rankings.

“We’ve been increasing in rankings every year and that reflects FIU,” stated Dean Acosta of the College of Law, in response to the notably high bar exam passing rate of the University’s law graduates.

Opened only 10 years ago, the College of Law has risen considerably in status, particularly during the 2011-2012 academic year.  The college was previously unranked, but soon went from 132 to 113 place.

Dean Acosta stated the college ranked number one in the state, averaging an 80-90 percent passing score in the bar examinations.

The College of Law is also one of the top 10 best schools for Hispanics and was ranked in the top 10 value schools in the nation.

Acosta attributes this success to both support given by the community and to the drive and determination the students show.

The College of Engineering and Computing has also found itself among the ranks. The computer science school was ranked second in the nation for bachelor’s degrees from colleges of engineering.  It placed third in bachelor degrees to Hispanics and tied with the University of Maryland at College Park for eighth place in bachelor degrees to African-Americans.

According to Mirmiran, continued improvement for the college could be achieved through investing in the college’s physical infrastructure and human resources.  In his assessment, this would grant students a better learning environment and allow faculty to progress their research.

Several other departments in the University have also placed in notable ranks.

Among these is the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, which has been distinguished with holding a major culinary event known as The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The annual event has been active for 10 years and continues to be a renowned success.

The University has been noted for its green initiative. It has been recognized for its participation in the RecycleMania Tournament. There are several divisions within the tournament including: the Gorilla Prize, total pounds collected; the Per Capita Classic, per person; and the Grand Champion, calculated by deciphering how much of the total waste is recyclable.

The University placed 2nd in 2012 under the Gorilla Prize Division.  Program Assistant from the Office of Sustainability Ali Dutton stated that the program wants to continue expanding and growing. Dutton reminds everyone that they are welcome to participate.

Dean Mirmiran from the College of Engineering and Computing attributes FIU’s success to the students and faculty.

“We have some of the brightest and most motivated students here at our college. We also have some of the best faculty that I have ever seen– there are those who care deeply for students in the classroom and there are those who are world class researchers in the lab.”

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