List of colleges and universities which have signed the Presidents Letter

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The following List of colleges and universities which have signed the Presidents Letter refers to a 2007 movement criticizing the practice of college rankings which developed among faculty and administrators in American Institutions of Higher Education. It follows previous movements in the U.S. and Canada (by schools in the 1990s such as Reed College, Stanford University, Alma College, as well as a number of universities in Canada in 2006) which have criticized the practice of college rankings.

Presidents Letter[edit]

The Presidents Letter (dated May 10, 2007), developed by Lloyd Thacker of the Education Conservancy, was sent to college and university presidents in the United States in May 2007 concerning the U.S. News and World Report college rankings. The letter does not ask for a full boycott but rather:

while we believe colleges and universities may want to cooperate in providing data to publications for the purposes of rankings, we believe such data provision should be limited to data which is collected in accord with clear, shared professional standards (not the idiosyncratic standards of any single publication), and to data which is required to be reported to state or federal officials or which the institution believes (in accord with good accountability) should routinely be made available to any member of the public who seeks it. [1]

Instead, it asks presidents not to participate in the "reputational survey" portion of the overall survey (this section accounts for 25% of the total rank and asks college presidents to give their subjective opinion of other colleges). The letter also asks presidents not to use the rankings as a form of publicity:

Among other reasons, we believe [...] rankings: imply a false precision and authority that is not warranted by the data they use; obscure important differences in educational mission in aligning institutions on a single scale; say nothing or very little about whether students are actually learning at particular colleges or universities; encourage wasteful spending and gamesmanship in institutions' pursuing improved rankings; overlook the importance of a student in making education happen and overweight the importance of a university's prestige in that process; and degrade for students the educational value of the college search process. We ask you to make the following two commitments: 1. Refuse to fill out the U.S. News and World Report reputational survey. 2. Refuse to use the rankings in any promotional efforts on behalf of your college or university, and more generally, refuse to refer to the rankings as an indication of the quality of your college or university."[2]

The letter currently has sixty-one signatures.

Original 12 schools[edit]

Twelve college and university presidents originally signed the letter in early May, 2007. [3]

Current list of additional schools[edit]

A number of signatures have been added to the original twelve. Others may be added at a later date. [4]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]