Published: September 15, 2005 | Author: Elizabeth Bowler | Read Time: 3 minutes

Written by Elizabeth Bowler, senior Communication major from Washington,Utah

The University’s High- Quality Faculty Recognized in Several Circles _____

Southern Utah University’s outstanding faculty members are helping the school prove itself worthy of its status as one of the nation’s top 10 universities.

Of SUU’s 26 new faculty members, 92 percent hold the highest degree available in their fields. In addition, 75 percent of all SUU faculty have earned doctorate or terminal degrees. This latter percentage has grown significantly during the past three years and places SUU in the upper ranks of universities in this area of assessment.

Provost Abe Harraf said these figures are significant because in contrast to larger universities where teaching assistants provide much of the classroom instruction, at SUU, professors with doctorate degrees are in the classrooms teaching and calling their students by name.

This enhances the relationship between students and faculty and contributes to SUU’s reputation for providing students with personalized attention.

“We expect to meet the goal of further raising this figure to 85 percent in the next two years,” Harraf said.

The percentage of faculty members holding a doctorate or terminal degree was a factor in the Consumer Digest’s search last year for the top 10 universities and colleges in the nation.

Dean O’Driscoll, SUU’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, said the university being nationally recognized for its excellent resources, including qualified and dedicated faculty members, shows the world that SUU is an excellent value, both economically and educationally.

“It also shows students how valuable their diplomas are,” O’Driscoll said. “We have excellent faculty who are helping our students to be high-achieving students.”

For the second year in a row, SUU has received the honor of being ranked one of The Princeton Review’s “Best in the West” colleges and universities.

As part of the decision process, The Princeton Review evaluated factors such as
students’ assessments of their professors, class size, student-teacher ratio, use of teaching assistants, and amount of class discussion.

O’Driscoll said of SUU’s national recognition, “It is the longstanding tradition of SUU’s exceptionally prepared faculty who interact on a personal level with high-achieving students, coupled with a remarkably affordable tuition, which contributed to these distinct honors.”

National organizations are not the only ones providing SUU with recognition for its outstanding faculty members. Student evaluations of professors during the Spring 2005 semester showed that, overall, a whopping 87.16 percent of the students agreed or strongly agreed that their professors demonstrated effective teaching.


Through its more than 100-year history, Southern Utah University has evolved from a teacher training school into its current role as a comprehensive, regional university to nearly 7,000 students from across the globe. It serves the southern region of Utah and contiguous counties in surrounding states with undergraduate and graduate programs in six colleges. People of the region look to the University for outreach services, culture, economic and business development, higher learning, regional history, public affairs, major academic specialties, and significant entertainment and recreation. Accentuated by the notable, economic value of its services, SUU's hallmark is its quality staff, faculty and academics.

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