By now everyone has heard about our drop in rankings in the U.S. News and World Report. Syracuse University dropped to number 62 in National University Rankings.
This has created a bit of controversy, of course. Especially since it appears we’ve been slowly declining for the last couple of years. Chancellor Nancy Cantor gave her response to the issue, explaining that rankings like this can be “volatile” and don’t always reflect the “strategic direction” an institution may be going in.
There is a lot of speculation as to what has led to our decline in ranking.
Does anyone remember the controversy last year about SU changing its acceptance policies? The Daily Orange wrote a scathing editorial, in which it criticized the administration for it.
The new strategies were supposed to create more diversity in the incoming class, both racially and socio-economically. In response, the Deans of all the colleges sent a collective letter to the editor, stating their disappointment in the Daily Orange for their opinion and that the policies were detracting from Syracuse University’s prestige.
I think they both have a point. We should be worried about admission policies if they affect the quality of our degree and how it is perceived. However, let’s face it, this campus needs more diversity across all categories—racial, ethnic, religious and socio-economic.
But it remains to be seen if this is what has affected our ranking, or if it is something else. So far, I’m not very satisfied with the response from the administration. The U.S. News and World Report aren’t really “volatile.” It may not be the last authority on college rankings, but it’s a well-respected source, and people do use it to judge schools.
By Jayne Jaramillo