Northern Arizona University moved up 14 spots in Washington Monthly’s annual rankings of what colleges are doing for the country and how they are using tax dollars.

NAU ranks 93 out of 245 institutions that were evaluated. Last year NAU ranked 107.

“The Washington Monthly analysis shows that Northern Arizona University is among the best universities in the nation in terms of serving our students, communities and the public at large,” said NAU President John Haeger.

“Perhaps most important, the rankings show that when you consider measures of performance—the impact on students and contributions to the public good—NAU is among the best in the nation,” Haeger said. “Washington Monthly has taken an important step toward providing information about what really matters to students, parents and the public.”

The magazine began publishing its rankings in 2005 in response to rankings from U.S. News & World Report, which Washington Monthly says “does a lousy job of actually ranking academic excellence.”

“To put The Washington Monthly College Rankings together… we asked ourselves: What are reasonable indicators of how much a school is benefiting the country? We came up with three: how well it performs as an engine of social mobility (ideally helping the poor to get rich rather than the very rich to get very, very rich), how well it does in fostering scientific and humanistic research, and how well it promotes an ethic of service to country,” the magazine says.

In this year’s survey, the University of Arizona is ranked 39th while Arizona State University is 90th.

The magazine’s complete listings for 2006 is available online.