Humphrey ranked No. 14 among public affairs schools

The Institute of Public Affairs tied with 11 other schools including Wisconsin.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs broke into the top 15 best public affairs graduate programs in the United States on Friday.

According to 2009 “Best Graduate School” rankings released by the U.S. News & World Report, the Humphrey Institute is ranked No. 14 out of 269 public and private programs.

At a score of 3.7 out of 5, the Humphrey Institute tied with 11 other schools, including the University of Wisconsin.

Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News & World Report, said the rankings are based on peer assessment survey results.

The survey, which was completed in 2007, was administered to deans, directors and department chairmen and chairwomen. It measured the “academic quality” of each program, according to the U.S. News & World Report Web site.

In 2004 – the last time public affairs programs were ranked – the Humphrey Institute ranked No. 21.

Brian Atwood, dean of the Humphrey Institute, said he is “obviously pleased” with the rise in rank, but he said the school’s improvement can’t stop there.

“I’m very pleased that we came up seven positions in the rankings, but I think we might have rested on our laurels if we had made it into the top 10,” he said. “It gives us room to grow.”

Atwood said the school plans to propose a doctoral program to the University at the end of the academic year.

If approved, the program will bring greater recognition to the Humphrey Institute within public affairs schools nationwide, and would likely improve the school’s ranking in the future, Atwood said.

“We are working on it diligently and believe it’s within our grasp,” he said.

Graham Arntzen, president of the Public Affairs Student Association, said students and faculty at the institute have been working hard to strengthen the program.

In particular, Arntzen said they are working to improve relationships between students and faculty.

“If we work together as a community and function as a community, I think the Humphrey will continue to increase our spot in the standings,” he said.

U.S. News & World Report began ranking graduate school programs in the early 1990s, Morse said.

“We felt that we could provide prospective grad students with information that they couldn’t get elsewhere to help them make a choice of where to go to grad school,” he said.

The Humphrey Institute received the sixth-highest rating of programs at public institutions.

Syracuse University took first place, with a score of 4.5.

In addition to the public affairs program ranking, the University’s education program was ranked No. 17, the Carlson School of Management was ranked No. 27 and the medical program’s primary care ranked No. 7.