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The Daily Tar Heel

Students Shrug Off Rankings

U.S. News & World Report released its rankings of graduate programs Monday, showing little change in UNC's place among national competition.

Second-year law student David Baddour said he felt the magazine underestimated the School of Law by ranking it 23rd. "The rankings are important, but they are not really true. They are just someone's subjective opinion of us," Baddour said. "But I am sure Dean (Gene) Nichol will have us higher up in the future."

The Kenan-Flagler Business School remained at No. 18, a ranking most students felt was fair.

But first-year graduate student Craig Cavanaugh said he was attracted to Kenan-Flagler not because of a magazine report but because of its programs.

"I came here because of low tuition and more importantly, because this school offers programs in general management," he said. "Most other schools are a lot more specified."

Biren Patel, a first-year business graduate student from Washington, D.C., said he was disappointed that the school did not move up in the rankings.

Patel said choosing to attend the business school was one of the best decisions he has ever made.

"I was accepted to more prestigious schools, but I've never regretted coming here," he said. "The school is attracting more and more successful students and there is recruiting from all the top firms."

Thad Woody, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, said the rankings are important but not the only factor for students looking at graduate schools.

Woody said the University's showing in the rankings was impressive especially because UNC is a public university. "We are not a private university and do not receive comparable funding, so I think it's really good that we are ranked among private institutions," he said.

UNC Chancellor James Moeser issued a statement Friday saying the school's main goal does not focus on rankings. But Moeser stated that the rankings help attract students and funding.

"Top-notch graduate programs help the University attract research funding that benefits the economy," he stated. "Many talented students who earn graduate and professional degrees in Chapel Hill stay in our state to make contributions to the work force."

Woody said he thinks the new administration would enhance graduate research and schools for the future.

"With the new chancellor and the many new faculty and facilities, there is a new energy in graduate programs," he said.

"I hope we fulfill Chancellor Moeser's goal of becoming the best public university in the country."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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