U.S. News, others laud WMU for academics, diversity and sustainability

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Photo of an aerial view of campus from Sangren Hall.

Western Michigan University

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Three national publications this month have singled out Western Michigan University for its national stature, its commitment to diversity and its role in protecting the environment. 

U.S News & World Report released its 2017 college rankings Sept. 13 and once again listed WMU among the top tier of the country's "best national universities." This is the 26th year WMU has been ranked on the top national universities list that this year includes 310 institutions—189 public, 114 private and seven for-profit institutions. Michigan top-tier public universities on the list appear in this order: University of Michigan (27), Michigan State University (82), Michigan Technological University (118), Western Michigan University (194) and Central Michigan University (202).

The 2017 ranking is available online at usnews.com. A print edition college guide will appear at newsstands late this month. The rankings are based on 16 criteria that include academic reputation, retention and graduation rates, student-faculty ratios, class size, faculty resources, student test scores and alumni giving.

Sustainability and diversity initiatives recognized

Earlier this month, on Sept. 6, the Sierra Club magazine issued its annual "Cool Schools" ranking of colleges that do the best job of protecting the environment. Three Michigan schools made the top-100 ranking, with WMU being ranked at No. 83. The other two Michigan schools on the list were MSU at No. 60 and U-M at No. 81. The Sierra Club, the nation's largest grassroots environmental, has published the list for 10 years to recognize the greenest colleges and universities, as measured by campus sustainability programs and curricula. The Sierra Club runs the initiative in partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability.

And on Sept. 1, INSIGHT into Diversity magazine announced its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity—HEED—honorees, with WMU making the list for the fourth consecutive year. The publication is the nation's oldest and largest publication that focuses on diversity in higher education. The award that recognizes U.S. colleges and universities "that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion."

The three recognitions come on the heels of another major ranking. In August, the policy magazine Washington Monthly ranked WMU No. 64 on its list of top national universities. Washington Monthly bases its rankings on what schools are doing for their students and the country, with criteria that include producing cutting-edge research and new Ph.Ds., encouraging students to give back to the nation through service, and promoting social mobility by recruiting and graduating low-income students.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.