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Newsmakers 2015: Campus Success

Media headlines highlighting UNLV's success in reaching milestones surrounding academics and recruitment.

Campus News  |  Jan 6, 2016  |  By Keyonna Summers

UNLV has been in the top 10 on U.S. News & World Report’s annual best ethnic diversity list for five straight years. (Aaron Mayes/UNLV Photo Services)

UNLV earned high or improved marks on rankings lists and at competitions that pitted its academics and recruitment efforts against those at other institutions. From health to business to engineering to student affairs, media outlets shared in the university's pride at reaching long-sought milestones.

Here is a compilation of just a few areas where UNLV continues to strive to climb. 

UNLV Ranks Second in Campus Diversity

UNLV jumped from sixth to second place on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list for “best ethnic diversity,” maintaining a spot in top 10 for the fifth consecutive year. The category identifies colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own. Later in the year, TIME Magazine did its own analysis, which also ranked UNLV the second most diverse campus nationwide.

Enrollment

Enrollment continued to climb out of a post-recession slump, with about 29,000 students on campus during the fall semester. UNLV welcomed its largest-ever freshman class — approximately 4,000 — for the fourth consecutive year, with about 75 percent of the incoming class hailing from Clark County. Officials attributed the spikes in part to aggressive recruitment and enhanced retention, progression and completion efforts. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report for the fifth consecutive year named UNLV among the nation's best for accepted student enrollment, ranking the university 13th overall (between Ivy League schools Columbia and Brown) and fourth among public universities.

Robotics

UNLV placed eighth in the world during the 2015 U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Challenge Finals, an elite competition of disaster response robots and their human supervisors. UNLV's team, DRC-HUBO @UNLV, was one of just 25 teams worldwide selected to compete in California this June against institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Virginia Tech, Lockheed Martin; as well as countries such as Hong Kong, China, Italy, Germany and Japan. Mechanical engineering professor Paul Oh — a renowned expert in robotic and autonomous systems — led UNLV's team of post-graduate researchers, industry partners, and graduate and undergraduate students in the creation of the emergency services robot Metal Rebel (who also moonlights as an artist and musician, spends his free time palling around with UNLV President Len Jessup, loves children, and apparently dreams of one day becoming a race car driver). 

Online Graduate Nursing Among Top 10

The School of Nursing earned top honors on two separate lists in 2015. Value Colleges ranked UNLV's online Master of Science in Nursing program second of the country's top 50, noting the school's breadth of available concentration areas as well as its unique trimester system and part-time offerings, which appeal to students simultaneously juggling full-time jobs. Meanwhile, the program ranked sixth on U.S. News & World Report's best-of survey of the nation'’s top 10 online graduate nursing programs. The programs were rated on student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, student services and technology and admissions selectivity. 

Lee Business School on the Rise

The UNLV Lee Business School also received recognition on two lists. The undergraduate program jumped 28 spots in the latest U.S. News & World Report “best colleges” rankings to 156, up from 184. Meanwhile, the part-time MBA program climbed 14 positions to 58th in the nation in Bloomberg Businessweek's “2015 Best Business Schools” ranking. Up from 72 in 2013, the Lee Business School surpassed other well-respected part-time programs, including: DePaul, George Washington, Pepperdine, North Eastern, Fordham, Chapman and Drexel.

Boyd Climbs Best Law Schools List

The UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law received its highest-ever overall ranking in U.S. News & World Report's list of best law schools, climbing 16 spots from the previous year to No. 67 out of 198 accredited law schools. The school also maintained top 10 specialty rankings for its programs in legal writing and dispute resolution. Among part-time law programs, UNLV's law school ranked 22nd. The school also ranked 43rd for diversity, moving up five spots from last year.