University of Rochester

1,000 Rochester Graduates Teach at America's Best Schools

March 19, 2002

What do the deans of Harvard's medical school, Yale's graduate school, University of Michigan's business school, and Stanford's medical school have in common? Along with the chairs of Princeton's English department and University of Chicago's music department, and the chair of faculty at MIT?

They all have academic degrees from the University of Rochester. A new study shows they are among more than 1,000 Rochester graduates on the faculties of schools and programs ranked among the "top 25" institutions.

"There is no better external validation of the quality of a university than to have prestigious schools hire its former students as faculty members," said Bruce Jacobs, University Dean of Graduate Studies, who conducted the research. "This group of academic leaders provides a collective portrait of individual excellence that reflects very well on what has been achieved at Rochester."

All of the University's schools-the College (Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences), the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Eastman School of Music, the Simon School of Business Administration, the School of Nursing, and the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development-are represented. More than 80 academic degree programs at the University of Rochester have helped educate faculty members now at the best schools in America. During their time at Rochester, the academic leaders collectively earned 316 bachelor's degrees, 132 master's degrees, 465 doctoral degrees, and 260 medical degrees.

The largest contingent of Rochester alumni is teaching at Harvard (64), followed by the University of Michigan (44) and Johns Hopkins (38). Universities also with 20 or more Rochester alumni on their faculty are Yale, Stanford, Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cornell, UCLA, Duke, Wisconsin, and Washington University, among several others.

Those with Rochester doctoral degrees teach at all of the U.S. News & World Report top 25 national universities and at most of the top liberal arts schools. Former undergraduates also can be found on the faculties of these schools. The medical faculties of all the top 25 medical schools have professors holding the School of Medicine and Dentistry's M.D. degree. In fact, the deans of four of the U.S. News top 10 medical schools were educated at Rochester.

In addition to the 10 deans of highly ranked schools, many of these academic leaders have other positions of responsibility. Among them are 36 department chairs and 60 program directors. Just less than 100 hold endowed chairs at their institutions.

"We're not aware of other universities doing similar studies or producing comparable statistics," said Jacobs. "But my strong hunch is that universities ranked near us have educated proportionally fewer 'academic leaders' than have we."

Called "A Thousand Faculty Members: University of Rochester Graduates at America's Best Schools," the survey also found:

Nearly one-quarter of Rochester graduates who are academic leaders have earned bachelor's degrees from the College with its program in arts, sciences, and engineering. About one-fifth of those stayed at Rochester for their graduate degrees, with 31 pursuing medicine and 19 getting doctorates. Overall, the graduates completed their Rochester education as early as 1943 and as recently as 2002; one-quarter of them have earned degrees since 1990.

The criteria for this study did exclude certain categories of academics: scholars at schools and programs not in the top 25, and professors at universities outside the United States.