UW News

August 15, 2012

News Digest: UW ranked 16th in the world, society elects 3 from UW as senators, Ratner among plenary speakers

Shanghai Jiao Tong University logo

UW again ranked 16th in the world
The UW again ranked 16th among universities around the world in a recent study by the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. The study ranked universities on quality of education, quality of faculty, research output and per capita performance.

The UW ranked 14th among U.S. universities. It was fourth among American public universities behind University of California, Berkeley, UCLA and University of California, San Diego.

All but three of the top 20 schools – Oxford, Cambridge and University of Tokyo – are American.

The UW ranked 16th in the center’s study in 2010 and 2011.

Phi Beta Kappa elects Woodward, Handel, King as senators
Three UW faculty recently won election as senators of the national Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society. The election took place at Phi Beta Kappa’s triennial council meeting, held in Palm Beach, Fla. Newly-elected senators to serve six-year terms include: Kathleen Woodward, professor of English and director of the Simpson Center for the Humanities; Zev Handel, associate professor of Asian languages and literature; and Mary-Claire King, professor of genome sciences.

The society has a total of 24 senators representing 280 Phi Beta Kappa chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The senators serve as directors of the society who guide the national PBK office on policy matters and set the direction for the society’s future. Eight at-large seats were up for election this year from a slate of 18 nominees. The election of three from any one university is unprecedented. The UW now holds one-eighth of the senatorial seats of the society; only one other university holds more than one—Yale, with two seats.

Founded on Dec. 5, 1776, the society celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Only about 10 percent of the nation’s higher education institutions have Phi Beta Kappa chapters, which invite for induction the most outstanding arts and sciences students at America’s leading colleges and universities. The society is a leading advocate for excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and has over half a million members.

The UW chapter—Alpha of Washington, established April 29, 1914—is governed by an executive committee of faculty and staff who themselves were inducted as undergraduates into Phi Beta Kappa at their respective institutions. Each year, the chapter invites approximately 350 high-achieving students to membership in the society and holds an induction ceremony for them and their families during commencement week in June.

Faculty and staff who are members of Phi Beta Kappa and who would like more information about chapter activities may contact the chapter at uwpbk@uw.edu.

Ratner one of opening speakers at chemical society meeting
Buddy Ratner
, professor of bioengineering and chemical engineering, will be among the opening speakers this Sunday at the American Chemical Society‘s national meeting and exposition in Philadelphia, which will host more than 8,600 scientific presentations.

The Fall 2012 conference theme is “Materials for Health and Medicine,” and Ratner will give one of four plenary lectures. His talk is titled: “A 2012 perspective on biocompatibility: The contributions of the chemist.”