The University’s standing in the annual U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings, released Tuesday, remains largely unchanged from last year — except in one area.
The magazine ranked UNC 12 spots lower in faculty resources — to 59th overall, tying with the University of Michigan. UNC ranked 47th in faculty resources last year and 35th in 2010.
The plunge highlights the growing problem of faculty retention at the University, said Chancellor Holden Thorp in a memorandum to the Board of Trustees.
“We have clearly lost ground among our public peers this last year,” Thorp said in the memo.
UNC’s ranking among public universities remained at fifth for the 11th consecutive year, and it moved up one spot to tie for 29th among all public and private campuses.
The faculty resources category measures undergraduate class size, the two most recent academic years of average total faculty salary and benefits, student-faculty ratio and percentage of faculty who work full-time and have earned the highest degree in their field.
Thorp said in the memo he expects to see another drop when the rankings are released again next fall.
“U.S. News rankings tend to lag a year behind developments like budget cuts,” Thorp said. “It will all depend on what happens to our peer campuses, some of which are giving faculty raises.”
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney said faculty salary levels threaten the faculty resources ranking the most.