SEPTEMBER 10, 2013
Freed-Hardeman University has maintained its place in the top tier of the U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings released Tuesday, Sept. 10. FHU placed 35th in the “Best Regional Universities—South” category. FHU has been a top tier school for the past 13 years. The university moved up from last year’s no. 39 slot.
“We certainly appreciate the recognition of our continuous improvement of the educational experience of our students,” Freed-Hardeman University President Joe Wiley said. “This ranking from U.S. News and World Report follows our recognition as one of the state’s safest campuses and an indicator noting our financial stability,” he said.
The university announced this fall its plans to construct an $11 million addition to the library that will more than double the space of the current library. Construction on the 29,000 square foot Hope Barber Shull Academic Resource Center is slated to begin this spring.
StateUniversity.com ranked Freed-Hardeman University as the #7 safest school in Tennessee, according to a message sent to the school Aug. 23. The ranking is based on crime reports made in 2012. The scale used by StateUniversity.com in compiling the ranking accounts for both severity and frequency of crime.
“The safety of our students is a priority of the university,” Rodney Weaver, FHU director of campus safety and security, said. “Over the past year we have increased the number of security officers and incorporated programs to increase crime awareness among our students.”
Based on reports from the United States Department of Education, Freed-Hardeman University has markedly improved its financial stability over the last five years. In 2008-09, the university’s financial stability score was calculated at 2.18. In fiscal 2012-13, the score had risen to 5.57. The financial stability determination score considers net assets, revenues, expenditures and credit to calculate scores. Net assets have climbed $7.5 million, a 12.78 percent increase over the last fiscal year. Dr. Dwayne Wilson, executive vice president of FHU, called this “a very significant increase.”
The America’s Best Colleges report looks at the nation’s schools based on key indicators of excellence, including peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student-faculty ratio, ACT/SAT scores, student selectivity and alumni giving rate. Freed-Hardeman reported a 13:1 student to faculty ratio and average ACT composite scores rose last year.
A regional university, according to the report, provides a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s degree programs, while offering a few doctoral programs. This category includes four geographic categories. Schools are ranked against their peer group.