Yeshiva University dropped to 52 in the annual U.S. News & World Report college rankings. The flagship institution of Modern Orthodoxy, YU fell eight spots from its 2007 ranking of 44. Mort Lowengrub, the university’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said he was pleased that the school ranked third in New York City, behind Columbia University and New York University. “We’re getting stronger and stronger,” Lowengrub said. “And students who are here see that. And much of our constituency sees the changes that have occurred with” YU’s new president, Richard Joel. “Through his leadership, we’ve been managing to do some very, very exciting things, in both reaching out the Jewish community as well as in really shoring up our academics,” Lowengrub said.