The Corner

Let’s Hear It for U.S. News and World Report

These are words I thought I’d never write after quitting the place following a horrible three-month tenure there in 1987. But I have to say, if the magazine’s college survey has worthless academic whiners in a full-throated tizzy, it has to be doing something right:

It’s not unusual for college presidents to complain about U.S. News rankings (at least out of the earshot of U.S. News editors). But on Sunday, the president of Sarah Lawrence College publicly charged that the magazine is preparing to publish made up, false data about her institution. Meanwhile, Inside Higher Ed has learned that 10 other liberal arts college presidents are preparing a letter to be sent to hundreds of college presidents proposing a new set of policies that might challenge the role of the rankings. The policy options include complete non-cooperation with U.S. News and refusing to fill out the “reputational” survey — which many educators deride as a “beauty contest” that is particularly lacking in substance, even though it represents 25 percent of the magazine’s rankings formula. 

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