University News

No news in U.’s U.S. News ranking

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brown and Cornell share the worst U.S. News and World Report ranking in the Ivy League this year, according to the 2012 rankings released online Monday.

The report — which calculates rankings based on metrics such as academic reputation, retention rates, class size, financial resources and selectivity — ranked the two schools 15th in the nation.

Harvard and Princeton tied for first place, with Yale at third.

About 15 percent of the ranking is determined by college presidents’ participation in a peer assessment survey, according to the company’s website. Though overall participation by college presidents dropped to 43 percent this year, President Ruth Simmons participated.

But she remains skeptical of the ranking system, she wrote in an email to The Herald, because the formula puts strong emphasis on an institution’s financial assets. “Nevertheless, Brown’s ranking at number 15 is very strong and an enviable position,” she wrote.

Brown has held roughly the same spot in the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings for the past eight years. The University has dropped two spots since it was ranked 13th in the nation in 2005.

“(Rankings) matter for public perception, which impacts the quality of applicants and visibility of the school,” said Maureen Sigler, lecturer in the Department of Education. “Do I think it matters? Yes. Do I think it’s subjective? Yes.”

Rankings did not affect Sachi Yokose’s ’12 decision to attend Brown. “Brown is a good school. I know to take ratings with a grain of salt,” she said.

“I think that Brown’s undergraduate program and quality of the education we provide is unsurpassed. We are always working to improve, not for the sake of rankings but to make Brown an ever more significant and valuable university,” Provost Mark Schlissel P’15 wrote in an email to The Herald.