WASHINGTON – Howard University climbed 10 points to No. 30 on the latest U.S. News & World Report 2022 rankings list of most innovative schools. The positive increase in the ranking represents the success of the Howard Forward strategic plan, which emphasizes measures that enable resource savings through upgraded technology and automation; initiatives that expand the campus footprint through facility improvements and real estate development; and processes that drive excellence in customer service and delivery of products and services. The University remains listed among the top 100 schools on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best national universities with a ranking of No. 89.
“Howard University embodies excellence in academics, research and service. Our faculty, staff and students are tasked with finding innovative solutions to today’s most pressing issues as they continue to impact their fields,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “Our campus community deserves to fulfill its mission in a setting that provides the best support and that includes having access to robust operations and administrative processes and superior facilities that provide a strong foundation for the critical work they do. We are proud to be acknowledged by U.S. News and World Report for these efforts.”
Under the leadership of Dr. Frederick, the University implemented Howard Forward in 2019 guided by five strategic pillars. In line with the fourth pillar, “improve efficiency and effectiveness,” the University began a strategic investment in upgraded technology that helps reduce resource and cost inefficiencies in administrative and operational systems and processes, leading to significant advancements in key University divisions like human resources, Enterprise Technology Solutions (ETS), and the University’s Office of Real Estate Development and Capital Asset Management (REDCAM). Howard’s ranking on the list of most innovative schools represents a nearly 100 percent increase from the University’s ranking in the same category two years ago.
The University maintained its No. 2 ranking among historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In the listing of best graduate engineering programs, Howard ranked No. 94 in the nation. Howard also rose one spot in the ranking for undergraduate teaching among national universities. Additionally, U.S. News recognized Howard in other major categories, including:
Social mobility, national universities: No. 29;
Most innovative schools: No. 30;
Best value, national universities: No. 64;
Best undergraduate business programs: No. 86;
Best national universities: No. 89; and
Best undergraduate computer science: No. 121.
Several factors contribute to the increase in Howard’s spot on the list of most innovative schools. In July 2021, the University implemented Workday, a multiyear technology initiative to improve business operations. The move led to greater efficiencies in research grant management, employee evaluation, and financial reporting, among other improvements. The platform aids in critical financial functions like departmental budgeting, integrated payroll and human resources activities, procurement, and distribution of grant funding. Implementation of Workday has increased the strength of data integrity and efficiency, while reducing administrative costs, and increasing sustainability by reducing paper consumption.
The Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Assessment (CETLA) and the Office of Digital and Online Learning received significant upgrades, ramping up its capacity to provide developmental resources for faculty over the past year. Howard faculty have access to courses on learning management tools and receive training on best practices in distance learning through CETLA. The center was awarded a $240,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create the new digital learning hub, equipped with touch screens, Mac and PC computers, and a digital recording studio alongside a green screen suite where Howard faculty and staff can create rich multimedia content in house.
The University’s Office of Enterprise Technology Services has significantly bolstered the institution’s cybersecurity profile with network security upgrades like multifactor authorization for all users and mandated network security training. New phishing detection systems and campus-wide campaigns to raise awareness of digital citizenship have reduced network vulnerability and incidents of compromised user accounts. Howard this year announced an initiative to launch a private broadband network exclusive to the campus. The initiative improves Internet connectivity and reliability throughout the campus and is the foundation for touchless and wireless building access and security monitoring in most academic and residential facilities. The security upgrades complement the campus’ Bison S.A.F.E. initiative, a mobile app-based program that facilitates COVID-19 attestation and allows the campus community to access testing results. The app also serves as the official tool of emergency communications, providing emergency alerts, GPS location software to help students monitor movements and safety of peers in transit, and a mobile bluelight function that can contact campus public safety and provide location in the event of an emergency.
The University made major strides in implementation of its Campus Master Plan when it announced a historic $785 million real estate initiative to fast-track renovations to campus buildings and construct three new academic centers. The University also implemented its Hyper Care initiative that expanded oversight and maintenance of on-campus housing to ensure deep cleaning and address repairs to building infrastructure in student residence halls. The University also completed a full renovation of the Undergraduate Library and reopened Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall.
The U.S. News & World Report’s most innovative schools list is a survey-based ranking evaluated based on schools nominated for having the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities. For more information about U.S. News & World Report’s most innovative schools ranking, visit https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/innovative.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
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