Rise in ranking surprising after SU’s recent decline
One year after Syracuse University plummeted seven spots in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges list, it is a surprise to see that SU rose four spots in the 2013 rankings.
After a year of continuous turmoil and a lengthy decline in recent years — Syracuse went from No. 50 in the 2008 rankings to No. 62 in 2012 — SU finally saw an uptick. University officials should take note of this and work to build on this small success.
SU was ranked in a five-way tie for No. 58 in this year’s report, up from No. 62 last year. In last year’s report, the university plunged seven spots from the previous year. Discussions about SU’s reputation followed during University Senate meetings, even before the rankings were released.
After the rankings last year, The Chronicle of Higher Education came down hard on the university in an article titled “Syracuse’s Slide.”
All the signs seemed to point toward another decline this year, but the university rose in rankings. Though a four-spot jump is not remarkable, it is still a positive. U.S. News & World Report uses a host of criteria to rank schools, including faculty-to-student ratio, retention rate, faculty resources and student selectivity.
In the past, university officials, including Chancellor Nancy Cantor, have said they do not put much stock in college rankings. But the faculty-to-student ratio and other rates are important measures of a university whether they’re related to rankings or separate, and they are numbers that need to remain valuable to the university’s mission and goals.
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