Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Well I'll Be . . .Rebellion Against LAC Rankings

Boy was I surprised to read in the NYTimes this morning that a majority of Presidents of Liberal Arts Colleges (LACs) have decided to no longer participate in U.S. News and World rankings. As I was reading this piece, I wondered what my own college's position was on this new development, since I know full well that our president attends the Annapolis group. I didn't have to get far into the article to find this:

“We really want to reclaim the high ground on this discussion,” said Katherine Will, the president of Gettysburg College and the incoming president of the Annapolis Group. “We should be defining the conversation, not a magazine that uses us for its business plan.” The association did not take a formal vote and each college will make its own decision, Dr. Will said.

Wow! Good for President Will! I didn't know that she was the incoming President of the Annapolis group (kudos!) and I am happy to hear that she joined with the other LAC Presidents in taking back our college reputation from U.S. News and World rankings. It is indeed demoralizing to think the priorities of an institution are driven by the flawed ranking system of a periodical.

I am curious to see what other criteria the group comes up with to assess the quality of LACs.