The University has dropped one spot in the U.S. News & World Report 2015 college rankings, coming in as the third best American public university. It was named the 26th best university overall. The University came behind the University of California-Berkeley and the University of California-Los Angeles, which took the first and second spots respectively. Previously tied with UCLA for the second spot, the University fell one point below UCLA’s score this year. The drop may be due to the lower relative University faculty and staff salaries, University President Teresa Sullivan said in an email statement. However, due to the expected turnover in faculty in the next few years, salaries may be raised to help attract new faculty and staff. “Among many metrics factoring into the U.S. News rankings is faculty resources, which has been an area of focus for the University as it seeks to increase faculty compensation,” Sullivan said. Sullivan said the University has been implementing the Cornerstone Plan, a strategic plan approved in November 2013 that includes initiatives to secure prestigious faculty members and develop faculty’s leadership and interdisciplinary work. Third-year College student Hannah Beaman said that though she feels the quality of her education has not dropped in the last year, it may be time to increase faculty compensation. “I think the faculty should definitely be paid more,” Beaman said. Some individual University schools performed better in other categories. The McIntire School of Commerce’s took the top spot on Value College’s list of Best Programs for Master’s in Management. Such rankings are rewarding but not a major focus, said McIntire Dean Carl Zeithaml. “We believe that if we focus on excellence, innovation and community, if we drive great outcomes and set the standard for these programs, then the rankings will take care of themselves,” Zeithaml said. McIntire’s success is due to its admissions standards, faculty, emphasis on communication skills and global business, specializations and strong student services, he said. The U.S. News & World Report also gave University of Virginia-Wise a second-place spot in the category “lowest student debt.” The University’s liberal arts college located in Wise secured the spot because its endowment is high but its student body is comparatively small, said the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at U.Va. Wise. “The biggest factor is we have a very large endowment — I think it’s about $84 million now,” J. Sanders Huguenin said. “It’s absolutely gigantic for a school this size and most of it is scholarship money.” The ranking was also attributed to the school’s relatively fixed tuition. Tuition has increased at a lower rate than inflation, Huguenin said. Read this article in Mandarin here.