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Magazine Slams Nevada's Universities
Magazine Slams Nevada's Universities

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada's two publicly funded universities didn't exactly impress the folks at U.S. News & World Report when the magazine issued its annual college rankings in September.

At least University of Nevada, Reno, managed to rank 181st among 202 national universities that were ranked. UNLV was relegated to the "rank not published" category. Making matters worse both schools were ranked 231st by high school counselors.

UNR also was ranked 100th among public universities, while UNLV escaped mention. Here's how the two Nevada schools stacked up against the University of California, Berkeley, which the magazine ranked as the nation's top public school and 21st overall.

On a five-point scale with five being the best, high school counselors rated UC Berkeley 4.5 and gave UNR and UNLV three points each. In an indicator of student satisfaction, UC Berkeley had an average freshman retention rate of 97 percent, compared to 78 percent for UNR and 76 percent for UNLV.

UC Berkeley posted a six-year graduation rate of 91 percent versus 50 percent for UNR and 41 percent for UNLV. At UC Berkeley, 62 percent of the classes had fewer than 20 students. The same was true of only 32.6 percent of the classes at UNR and 24.9 percent at UNLV.

Whereas the student-faculty ratio was 17 to 1 at UC Berkeley, it was 22 to 1 at UNLV and 27 to 1 at UNR. The only category where the Nevada schools were comparable to UC Berkeley was in classes with at least 50 students. That amount was 15 percent at the California university, compared to 16 percent at UNR and 18 percent at UNLV.

The magazine gave UNLV its best scores for the Boyd School of Law, ranked 71st among law schools, and for specialties that included legal writing (4th), dispute resolution (9th) and part-time law (26th). But it did not pay any special notice to UNLV's highly regarded Harrah College of Hotel Administration, although the magazine mentioned that the school's graduates included gaming executives George Maloof of the Palms and Scott Sibella of MGM Grand..

UNR's best rankings were in clinical psychology (43rd) and earth sciences (63rd).