By Joe Garvey
Old Dominion University has once again been recognized as a global leader for addressing inequality, tying for 65th in the world and ranking fifth among U.S. institutions for reducing inequalities in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for 2022.
ODU is one of only two institutions in Virginia - Virginia Tech being the other at No. 67 - listed in the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) category designed to measure universities' research on social inequalities, their policies on discrimination and their commitment to recruiting staff and students from underrepresented groups.
This marks the fourth consecutive year that ODU has been ranked No. 1 in Virginia and the third straight year that the University has placed among the top 100 internationally in the inequality category. It also marks the second year in a row that the University has been ranked among the top 10% globally.
The four U.S. schools ranked ahead of ODU are Arizona State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the State University of New York at Albany. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County tied with ODU for the fifth spot in the nation. ODU is one of only seven U.S. institutions to earn a global ranking in the top 100.
A total of 796 schools from 93 countries or regions were assessed in the category.
"This recognition is a testament to the visionary Monarch leaders who are dedicated to the ongoing efforts to make our campus a more diverse, equitable and inclusive home for our students, faculty and staff," said ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. "This truly transformational work is making a significant difference not just within Monarch Nation, but the larger community, as well."
The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which were launched in 2019, are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations' 17 SDGs. They provide comparisons across four broad areas: research, stewardship, outreach and teaching.
The Times Higher Education website stresses the importance of reducing inequalities: "Equality needs to underpin every aspect of sustainability if the objectives of the SDGs are to be met. Disadvantaged groups are both more likely to be unable to take advantage of progress and to suffer from the effects of climate change."
ODU has long been recognized as a nationwide leader regarding social mobility. Most recently, the University placed among the top 10% of institutions in the nation and No. 1 in Virginia in CollegeNET, Inc.'s eighth annual Social Mobility Index (SMI) rankings, which were released in December.
"Our commitment to first-generation and underrepresented students is ingrained in what we do," said Don Stansberry, vice president for student engagement and enrollment services. "The core of our mission is to create enriching educational opportunities for all of our students."
Times Higher Education is a weekly, London-based magazine dedicated to news and issues related to higher education. Originally published in The Times newspaper as The Times Higher Education Supplement, it was relaunched as a magazine in 2008 and soon became known for publishing annual world university rankings.
The 2022 rankings are available at this link.