Saturday, August 18, 2007

Congratulations to ... Lehigh

Yes, one shouldn't take these things too seriously, but it's kind of cool that Lehigh's U.S. News ranking is now 31 in the nation for research universities -- the highest it's ever been.

Several colleges in the Lehigh Valley signed on to the anti-rankings campaign group (Lafayette, Moravian, Muhlenberg), generally referred to as the "Annapolis Group." Nationwide, most of the colleges that are rejecting the U.S. News approach are small liberal arts colleges, which frequently have excellent undergraduate teaching, but not the kinds of material resources that lead to a high ranking.

There's also the whole dubious matter of the "reputation" survey, where college presidents are asked to do their own ranking based on reputation. I think the U.S. News system would gain back quite a number of schools in the Annapolis Group if it were to simply remove this aspect of the surveys that are used to compile the rankings.

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