Duke leads N.C. universities in ranking; Clemson tops in S.C.

Published 12:55 pm Friday, August 20, 2010

Duke is one of the top 10 universities in the nation, and one of several institutions in the Carolinas to receive high marks in new rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

Duke is ranked ninth on a list headed by Harvard, Princeton and Yale, while Wake Forest is ranked 25th and UNC-Chapel Hill is 30th. Clemson is the next highest ranked university in the Carolinas, and the top institution in South Carolina, coming in at 64th in the national ranking.

The U.S. News ranking of national universities, or institutions focusing on research and offering several doctoral programs, is based on a composite weighted score produced after analyzing 16 areas related to academic excellence.

According to U.S. News, Duke University accepted only 19 percent of applicants in 2009. Duke has an enrollment of 14,350 and tuition of $40,472. Wake Forest (7,079 enrollment and $39,970 tuition) accepted 38 percent of applicants, while UNC-Chapel Hill (28,916 enrollment, $6,665 in-state/ $25,280 out-of-state tuition) accepted 32 percent and Clemson (19,111 enrollment, $11,958 in-state/ $27,470 out-of-state tuition) accepted 63 percent.

Other national universities in the Carolinas that made the top three-fourths of the ranking include: N.C. State (tied 111th), USC-Columbia (tied 111th), S.C. State University (170th), UNC-Charlotte (tied 191st), UNC- Greensboro (tied 191st).

Among public institutions, U.S. News ranks UNC-Chapel Hill fifth in the nation. Clemson is ranked 23rd, followed by N.C. State and the University of South Carolina tied at 52nd, S.C. State University at 92nd, and UNC-Charlotte and UNC-Greensboro tied at 107th.

In a ranking of national liberal arts colleges, U.S. News put four colleges from the Carolinas in the top 100. Davidson College came in at 9th, followed by Furman at 41st, Wofford at 62nd, Presbyterian at 99th, and UNC-Asheville at 158th.

The Carolinas had six universities in the top 10 of regional, public universities in a 12-state South region, according to U.S. News. The Citadel and Appalachian State came in second and third, respectively, behind James Madison. The College of Charleston was 4th, UNC-Wilmington 5th, Winthrop 8th and Western Carolina 10th.

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North Carolina has received a second infusion of federal stimulus money to increase broadband Internet access in the state. .C. Governor Bev Perdue has announced $115 million in federal stimulus grants, which follow $140 million in grants issued previously as part of $7.2 billion for national broadband deployment in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The latest grants were awarded to Yadkin Valley Telephone Membership Corp, the City of Charlotte, Olive Hill Community Economic Development, WinstonNet and MCNC, a Raleigh nonprofit providing high-speed Internet access to educational institutions. The grants will be used for new fiber-optic cable, public computer centers and public computer workstations in areas of the state that lack broadband access. The Golden LEAF Foundation provided a $24 million matching grant to help pay for about 1,300 miles of fiber-optic cable.

Increasing broadband access will create new jobs up front and provide a boost for local economies to create even more jobs and a better quality of life in the near future, said Gov. Perdue. There improvements are especially important in rural and underserved areas of North Carolina.

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Area residents soon will be able to fly to LaGuardia Airport in New York City from the Asheville or Greenville-Spartanburg airports. U.S. Airways announced the two airports are among seven airports that will add service to the New York City airport. Service also will be added from Columbia, S.C. and Charleston, S.C. is gaining a third round-trip daily flight. The new flights are scheduled to begin October 31. Once the flights are added, U.S. Airways will have 194 peak-day departures at LaGuardia to 34 airports.

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Wingate University plans to create a pharmacy school in Henderson County. The university, which is planning to open with the first class in August 2011, plans to serve up to 250 students at the new school. Wingate plans to begin with 72 students and 10 instructors, say county officials.

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners has offered its support for the school, and the Partnership for Economic Development in the county will assist Wingate in finding land.

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A horse blood disease thats not been in the U.S. for about 20 years has returned to nearly half the states in the country, including North Carolina. N.C. Agricultural Commission Steve Troxler says blood tests completed recently confirmed the presence of piroplasmosis in 11 horses at four locations in the state. The disease was found in Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke and Wake counties. Equine piroplasmosis is a blood-borne parasitic disease transmitted to horses by ticks or contaminated needles.

Horse owners and others in the equine industry in North Carolina should monitor their horses carefully and contact their veterinarian if they suspect this disease, Troxler said. Because the U.S. has been free of this disease for two decades, by law suspected cases must be reported to the State Veterinarians Office.

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A couple from Columbia, S.C. has donated $1.5 million to create a no-kill pet adoption center in the city. Austin and Lane Meyers provided the funds for the $4 million center that is expected to have four full-time veterinarians and an indoor pet exercise area. Construction is expected to begin on the facility next fall. Austin Meyers, 40, says he planned to use the money to build a faster airplane, but changed his mind after visiting an animal shelter in Columbia and seeing the number of dogs and cats without a home.

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Duke Energy has leased a $120,000 electric sports car to help promote electric vehicles at community events and conferences. The Tesla Roadster Sport, which goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds, is among the latest wave of Electric Vehicle (EV) production that will include the Chevy Volt, to be released in October, and the Nissan Leaf, slated for release early next year.

Carmakers and utility companies are coordinating on the infrastructure needed to charge vehicles at home and at commercial charging stations. Duke says it expects there will be about 100 recharging stations, installed by local governments and employers, in its N.C. service territory by next summer. Charlotte has already announced plans to install 10 recharging stations near job centers and transit lines.