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We're up 16 places in World University Rankings


By Dateline staff

UC Davis moved up 16 places, from 54th to 38th, in the World University Rankings 2011-12, released Oct. 6 by the London-based magazine Times Higher Education — which based its rankings on teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook.

UC Davis’ jump-up comes at a time when “some of the most prestigious U.S. public institutions have suffered a slip in performance as funding cuts start to bite,” the magazine wrote in its rankings analysis.

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said the new rankings “demonstrate clearly that we are on the right path to achieving excellence despite the continuing erosion of state support.”

Indeed, since her arrival in 2009, Katehi has been focused on those state cuts and their tumultuous effects, laying out a Vision of Excellence that aims to put UC Davis in the top five of the nation’s public research universities.

She aims to get there by a combination of new revenues, efficiencies and, if necessary, cuts. Those new revenues include tuition from 5,000 more undergraduates — not only boosting the UC Davis economy but the regional economy as well — as outlined in the university’s 2020 Initiative, which the chancellor unveiled in her Fall Convocation address Sept. 21.

UC Davis’ rise in ranking comes at a time when other publics, including other UC campuses, are moving in the opposite direction.

Philip Altbach, director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, commented in the Times Higher Education analysis: “It is likely that UC campuses will show a slow but steady deterioration over time as California’s budget crisis takes its toll. It takes a long time to build world-class universities such as Berkeley and UCLA, and a shorter time to damage them.”

Katehi has vowed not to let that happen. “We understand the conditions that allow us to achieve excellence and, with our 2020 Initiative, we will develop a plan to further advance our mission as a land-grant university — our mission of providing access to an excellent education,” she said.

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