March 15, 2016

Batten School Moves Up in the U.S. News and World Report Rankings

The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy has moved up in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of public policy schools. Ranked every three years, the Batten School is now No. 41 out of nearly 300 schools of public policy, public administration and public affairs. In the previous rankings the School was listed at No. 46, tying with six other schools. The Batten School shares the current ranking with Cornell University and others.

Founded in 2007, the Batten School has made great strides in offerings, curriculum, faculty hires and student experience. In just a few years, it has become a leader in public policy education.

 “We remain unique among our national peers because of our commitment to teaching leadership skills essential to overcoming the public policy challenges of our times. By combining rigorous data analysis, social psychology and the introduction of computer-assisted policy models and simulations, the Batten School is poised to transform public policy education,” said Dean Allan C. Stam.  

“With the creation of five innovative policy research centers in the areas of education, health care, social entrepreneurship, leadership simulations and international policy, our program will be an integral part of the University of Virginia’s continued growth as a leading national research university,” he added.

The Batten School features award-winning research and faculty members, and many have been recognized for their recent work. Last year the American Political Science Association (APSA) awarded Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Craig Volden with the Daniel Elazar Distinguished Scholar Award, the Fenno Prize and the Gladys M. Kammerer Award. Professor James Wyckoff, Professor of Education and Public Policy (with a joint appointment in the Curry School of Education), received the 2015 Raymond Vernon Memorial Award for excellence in research from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM).

Among the student population, the School can claim numerous Presidential Management Fellows, a Fulbright Scholar and a Boren Award winner. In early 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced the Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) candidates from colleges and universities across the country. The Batten School had an exceptional number of graduate students chosen to participate in the prestigious two-year training program with the federal government. Six Batten Masters of Public Policy students and one MPP alumna were selected to join the PMF Program. 

The Batten School has fared well in other recent rankings as well. A 2015 survey by Best Value Schools described the School as one of the most innovative public service schools in the U.S. It was ranked No. 9 out of the 50 schools listed. In commending the School, the survey said, ”The entire public service school consists of one innovation after another, and encourages students to explore entrepreneurial thinking and social values.”

In November 2015, ranked Batten No. 16 among graduate programs of public affairs based on student surveys. In January 2016, Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), a collaborative effort of economics scholars in 87 countries, released institutional rankings in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Batten School was ranked No. 4 based on the quality and amount of scholarly economics research produced.

The U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of public affairs schools is based solely on a peer assessment survey conducted in late 2015. Individuals surveyed included deans, directors and department chairs from schools of public affairs, public administration and public policy. According to the magazine, the recent survey response rate was 43 percent, and respondents rated the academic quality of master’s programs on a scale of one to five. Statistical data such as acceptance rates, GRE scores, career outcomes and student-faculty ratios were not factored into the methodology.