Dillard’s national rank remains steady

Dillard University is Louisiana’s highest-ranking southerncomprehensive college, according to U.S. News & World Report’sAmerica’s Best Colleges 2005. Dillard has an overall standing of 21in the Southern Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor’s category.

“The U.S. News & World Report ranking shows that DillardUniversity continues to do an excellent job of educating students,”Dr. Bettye Parker-Smith, the interim president, said in astatement.

“It also shows that we are on a steady course; a good indicatorthat things remain consistent during the presidential transition,”she said. Some criteria for selecting the schools are as follows:average freshman retention, alumni giving, and graduation rate.

Dillard sustained an increase in all of these areas. The averagefreshman retention rate for 2005 was 75 percent, which was up abouttwo percent from last year. The 2005 graduation rate was slightlyup to 37 percent. Alumni giving saw a three percent increase from2004.

Dillard was the only HBCU ranked of all liberal arts collegesand universities offering bachelor’s degrees in the south. For theComprehensive Colleges-Bachelor’s category, the U.S. News &World Report ranked institutions that focused on undergraduateeducation and offered a range of degree programs in the liberalarts and professional fields such as business, nursing andeducation. The U.S. News & World Report ranked 324comprehensive colleges within four regions: North, South, Midwest,and West.

Jeremy Daigle, a senior biology major, said he is happy to seeDillard moving on the right track.

“The science department is making wonderful improvements to labsand other facilities,” Daigle said.

“[Dillard] is also making other opportunities for studentsoutside of the [university] like summer programs and conferences,”he said. Daigle also said he was glad Dillard was being recognizedand had obtained a prestigious honor.

For some, Dillard still has more improvements, but is stillmoving in the right directions.

“I think the classes are a little too easy,” Kalicia Fields, asophomore public health major, said.

Fields said she is worried about not being prepared for graduateschool because she feels the classes are not challengingenough.

“I think it’s wonderful, and I am proud,” she said about thenational ranking.

Fields said that she would continue to prepare for graduateschool on her own, however.