Imagine playing a sport for a D-III school one year and the next year, playing on the same team and suddenly it’s D-I playing against the big dogs.
That’s essentially what Rowan did when this year’s national rankings for universities came out. Rowan was ranked 171 out of 311 in national universities (D-I). Last year they were categorized as a regional university (D-III). For the university, this is a big step in the right direction.
“It’s going to help us both with our national reputation,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Jim Newell. “That will change how we recruit students to our programs. It’s also going to help us with national funding because we are going to be a higher prestige university and it will help us with faculty recruiting.”
As for the students, Rowan has always been recognized as an in-state university. The core of their student body comes from people around the area, with very few coming from out of state and internationally.
“For the foreseeable future, we are going to be a primarily New Jersey university. We are certainly interested in increasing both the out of state and a larger quantity of international students,” Newell said.
Rowan ranked 19th for its engineering program, although, the rankings for engineering differ as well. The engineering rankings are done by degrees. Rowan ranked among the top 20 for universities that have not issued a doctorate degree in engineering.
Anthony Lowman, dean of engineering, was excited about the ranking.
“This ranking is really a reflection of the hard work of our dedicated faculty and students,” Lowman said. “Much of the ranking score comes from peer assessment – so our faculty, students and alumni are clearly making their mark in their fields and professions.”
Lowman believes the ranking will create potential for the university moving forward.
“It’s the first way people can benchmark us against other schools. This includes potential new students, industry partners and new faculty,” Lowman said.
Newell was ecstatic when talking about the news of the rankings.
“This is the biggest piece of external recognition that has happened in the history of the university,” Newell said. “I think you’re going to see a slow but consistent move upward on that list.”
As Rowan keeps advancing and putting its money to good use, Lowman said the school will be “investing in modernizing the facilities of Rowan Hall (almost complete) and will be upgrading our equipment in these labs – both the teaching and research spaces.”
With a bright view ahead, Rowan looks to make an impact at the higher level of education, and prove itself as an even more prestigious university.
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