Georgia State’s Becker named among most innovative college presidents

Mark Becker, president of Georgia State University, was named one of the most innovative college presidents in the country by Washington Monthly magazine this week.

Becker was among 10 noted collegiate leaders recognized for implementing specific, innovative programs in areas like affordability, diversity, research, and service. The magazine lauded Becker's embrace of big data at Georgia State to greatly improve retention and graduation rates for minority, low-income and first-generation college students at the Atlanta university. Presidents at Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Arizona State University and Vassar College were also among those highlighted for their innovations.

Several Georgia colleges also scored high marks in the magazine's 2015 college guide and rankings included in the same issue published this week.

Georgia Tech ranked ninth overall among national universities. The University of Georgia (#52) and Emory University (#93) also ranked in the magazine’s top 100 institutions nationally.

The magazine’s annual rankings are based on institutions’ upward mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs) and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

The University of Georgia ranked third on the magazine’s list of “Best Bang for the Buck Colleges” in the southeast for 2015, for being one of the best values for students. A number of Georgia colleges were included on that list, including Georgia Tech (#20), Albany State University (#22) and Savannah State University (#40).

Spelman (#31), Morehouse (#34) and Agnes Scott (#43) colleges received the highest state rankings among liberal arts colleges. Mercer ranked 14th among master’s universities, and Covenant College in Lookout Mountain (#10) and Fort Valley State University (#46) received the highest state scores among baccalaureate colleges.