U.S. News Rankings

It’s not that Stanford fares poorly in the U.S. News rankings game. In the past four years the university has never fallen below sixth place, its current standing among the nation’s colleges and universities. In the magazine’s 1997 guide to graduate schools, a separate issue published in March, U.S. News ranked Stanford’s business school number one; its engineering and education schools were each ranked second best; and the law school was ranked number three. The medical school ranked tenth.

But according to President Gerhard Casper, Stanford’s status gives him the credibility to speak out on the rankings. “I hope I have the standing to persuade you that much about these rankings ­ particularly their specious formulas and spurious precision ­ is utterly misleading,” Casper wrote in an unpublished letter to the magazine’s editor, James Fallows, last September.

Casper says his letter began circulating quietly through the nation’s ivory towers, where he believes many college presidents and administrators agree with him. “I had expressed views [many presidents and deans] had held for a long time, but they had just never bothered to express,” Casper told Stanford Today. “There are college presidents who utterly dislike what U.S. News does but are worried about picking a public fight,” says Casper, who met with Fallows in Washington in early December.

In mid-April, Stanford decided to throw another punch. This year the university will continue to submit objective data to U.S. News, but will withhold subjective reputational votes.

Stanford recently established a site on the World Wide Web ­ www.stanford.edu/home/statistics/ ­ that will offer data directly to students

Previous | Next



 President’s Column
 On Campus
 The Role of CIV
 Campus Briefs

 Science & Medicine
 Ecological Economy
 Sci & Med Briefs

 Stanford Basketball
 Sports Briefs

 Spacecraft Design
 Class of 2000
 Gender Research
 Gender Paradox
 Billy Tipton
 Marilyn Yalom
 Michael Boskin