Talk:Public Ivy

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Disputed: Reversion from/deletion of University of Mississippi[edit]

I dispute the following, taken from the history page:

"00:20, 4 January 2007 ExplorerCDT (Talk | contribs) (reverting. OleMiss ain't relevant, and there's nothing in the reference to substantiate OleMiss making a "bid for inclusion" to a group that doesn't exist formally.)"

The above, frankly, is a pile of horseshit. I was the person who mentioned Ole Miss. I alluded to the school's current advertising slogan ("One of America's Great Public Universities") and added a footnote cite and link to the school's website. The use of the slogan, therefore, is not in dispute. The claim that "OleMiss[sic] ain't relevant" manifests ignorance of the meaning of the word "relevant." I won't re-edit the article yet, but I think this reversion raises (or rather re-raises) the question whether this article is about the substantive pretention to Ivy League-level prestige or whether it's just about the the use of the word "Ivy". I would argue that the subject, to be articlae-worthy in the first place, must be the general idea of prestige for public universities; I would further argue that a necessary part of this must be the aspirations of public schools themselves. It seems that other parts of the article comports my view: the word "Ivy" is the only word distinguishing Ole Miss's slogan from Murray State's and SUNY-Geneseo's. ExplorerCDT in his infinite wisdom did not edit these out. The Ole Miss slogan, like the Murray and Geneseo slogans, expresses an aspiration towards Public Ivy-hood as a concept - something which, as the reverter himself states above, doesn't exist formally. (It bears noting here Ole Miss's colors are called "Harvard Red" and "Yale Blue," further proof of the school's longstanding aspiration or pretension to Ivy League status.) So, if in fact this Wiki is nothing more than a list of schools which have been referenced with the specific term "Ivy," I would submit that the entire article should be reduced to a simple list or else deleted as trivial. If on the other hand this wiki is about the pretense of public-academic prestige rather than name-dropping, must the article suffer the editing of fools like ExplorerCDT?


Relevance of U.S. News World & Report's "Up And Coming Universities"[edit]

One of our colleagues is insisting that this article include a section about U.S. News World & Report's "Up And Coming Universities." I contend that it's off topic in this article because it doesn't even mention "Public Ivy." Other thoughts? ElKevbo (talk) 22:23, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

I agree. This article is about the named schools specifically identified in a particular book, published more than 30 years ago; as well as a followup 15 or so years later expanding on the same "Public Ivy" idea. That's what the article is about: "Public Ivys" - not "diamonds in the rough", or whatever broad theme would include the proposed addition, or indeed any of the other (literally) dozens of ways that various publications and self-described educational services have devised to rank different kinds of schools of higher education. JohnInDC (talk) 23:27, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

The page isn't ONLY about the books though. It mentions in the very first paragraph how "Public Ivies are considered, according to The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, to be capable of "successfully competing with the Ivy League schools in academic rigor... attracting superstar faculty and in competing for the best and brightest students of all races."[2]." In the opening paragraph, nowhere does it mention that the article is only about books. It mentions how Public Ivys are described to be public institutions that compete with ivy leagues in academics or provide the same quality of education

What I wrote about is relevant to that. Admittedly, I could have worded the section a little better, and the title should be changed from "Up And Coming Universities" to something more appropriate. However, I believe that what was said was very relevant. Schools like UMBC and Purdue do definitely fit the description of "successfully competing with the Ivy League schools in academic rigor... attracting superstar faculty and in competing for the best and brightest students of all races." Schools like UMBC and Purdue Definitely compete with the Ivys, especially in terms of minority success. UMBC graduates the highest number of African-American STEM students (who then go on to obtain STEM PhDs) of any non HBCU. It has been even noted by scholarly written articles and the school itself, which you can read about here and here Just recently, an African-American female student from UMBC has been awarded with the Rhodes Scholarship, as well. She is the first African-American to receive the honor from Maryland.

I agree that ranking publications have some subjectivity to them. However, schools like UMBC, USCarolina, Purdue, and George Mason University have been ranked alongside ivys in multiple publications, indicating that they are public universities with similar qualities of ivys. And I believe that the books used in this article to determine what are public ivys are even more subjective than any of the publications I have mentioned. Honestly, it is a joke that the University of Arizona is considered a "public ivy," but that a school such as Purdue, which is certainly far more academically rigorous than University of Arizona is not. That alone shows you how subjective and outdated the information in this article is. We don't even know what measures the people who published the Greenes Guide used, or what relevance the people who published it had, so how are we even sure that it has any credibility at all. Anyone can publish a book claiming that certain universities are public ivys, but that doesn't say anything about their credibility. Greenes Guide also clearly seems to have a bias on flagship universities only, which probably explains why University of Arizona made their list. I personally think that now that is 17 years since that book (with god knows what credibility) has been published, it is fair enough for me to post about other schools and give credit to other public institutions that have been recognized for having qualities similar to ivys in terms of academics and are very successful for minority students despite not being an HBCU.

Furthermore, I made sure that I cited statistics or respectable and fairly recent publications for every point I made, so what I said definitely has credibility backing it up.

The only thing that I think kinda offshoots what I said is that the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and University of Maryland, College Park were still considered the same institution but different campuses not too long before the book in 2000 was published, meaning that UMBC could have possibly been already counted anyways. But since they are considered two different institutions in modern day, I still think it should be recognized.

Therefore, I propose something like this to take place of what I originally said.

Other Public Universities that fit the qualifications of a "Public Ivy"

Some public Universities meet the description of "successfully competing with the Ivy League schools in academic rigor... attracting superstar faculty and in competing for the best and brightest students of all races," but were not officially recognized for it by the books mentioned in this article. This may be due to the fact that they were overlooked due to being non flagship universities or due to being relatively new universities (since the books are fairly old). These public universities even outcompete some of the formally recognized "public ivys" academically.

U.S. News World & Report once featured a list of "Up And Coming Universities," which featured a list of schools that were rapidly academically swifting to the top ranks. Recently, the list was replaced with "The Most Innovative Schools." Both lists featured the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), a fairly new public university located in Catonsville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. UMBC was ranked as the #1 Up And Coming University for 6 years in a row [1], and is currently ranked as the 7th most Innovative school in the country [2]. While UMBC is not officially recognized as a "public ivy," (largely due to its young age and only fairly recent gaining of national attention), UMBC has been ranked alongside ivy league universities and elite universities in the Up And Coming List and Most Innovative Schools list. UMBC's professors are also ranked as 13th best for undergraduate teaching in the entire country by U.S. News & World Report, too[3]. Additonally, UMBC's freshman class profile shows that the average GPA of its freshman class is higher than the average freshman GPA of some of the officially recognized "public ivys,"[4] such as the Univeristy of Arizona[5], UConn[6], the University of Vermont [7], Michigan State University[8], the University of Washington[9], and the University of Colorado Boulder[10]. The same is true for SAT scores, as well.

Other public Universities similar to UMBC in this aspect are: - Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana - George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia - The University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, - The University of California, Riverside - The University of California, Merced - The University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio.[11].

Ciliatedflower (talk) 23:27, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

I disagree. The article is about the specific "Public Ivies" identified by these two authors. The name of the article comes from the two books; the schools that are listed in the article are those named in those two books; and the link you describe as being not about the two books expressly cites to and proceeds from them. This article is about those schools, and not about some other schools that are or can be arguably likened to Public Ivies based on one's own interpretation of creatively-titled rankings issued by one or another magazine or self-proclaimed ranking firm. You may disagree with these authors' conclusions, or regard them as hopelessly out of date (I think the whole concept is hopelessly out of date TBH) but these are the schools that that these authors identified - so they're in. That is my first objection to the addition, already raised above: It's off-topic. My second objection is that the conclusions in it are OPINION, SYNTHESIS and ORIGINAL RESEARCH. The cited articles don't say, "... and these schools, by virtue of being Innovative, may be considered to provide the same quality of education as the Ivy League schools" or "... are also Public Ivies". They state a particular metric ("Up and Coming"; "Innovative") and then rank based on that. That's what they rank, and, while those rankings are certainly laudatory, there's no connection between them and any designation as a new "Public Ivy". That's your conclusion, not theirs. My third objection is that the focus on UMBC seems a bit - well, skewed. It's 7th in the "Innovative" list, and, while first in the "Up and Coming", there are 13 others on that list. What about them? And then there are the other lists that USNR produces, like "Top Public Schools" (Purdue, #18, but not a Public Ivy; Clemson #23 but not a Public Ivy nor noted in your addition; UMBC #83 (!) but mentioned prominently). I suspect that with a little mixing and matching one could find a dozen or more schools that are very good ones, with good Undergraduate Teaching rankings (Rice #3, Georgia State #8) and high incoming SAT scores that would run with or surpass UMBC; yet your addition goes on at length about that one school. So - this isn't the place, the third party sources don't say what you ascribe to them, the criteria you appear to employ are subjective, and even applying them, UMBC is disproportionately highlighted. JohnInDC (talk) 22:33, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Again, the opening paragraph of the article does not indicate that the idea of "public ivy" is confined to the two books, it just suggests that Public Ivy league schools meet certain criteria. The introduction of the article doesn't support your claims that the concept of a public ivy is tied to the two books, and supports the notion that "public ivy" is simply a concept.
As to your other concerns, many of the others on the list are Private Universities, and most of the sources I used were statistics rather than rankings (such as GPA and ACT scores). I only used rankings for certain topics. I can also provide statistics that show that a much larger percentage of UMBC graduates end up attending top 10 PhD programs, including at many real ivy league schools, compared to several of the official "public ivy leagues," if needed. The reason I focus on UMBC a lot is because it is the example I am most familiar with. It is also the only school out of the ones I mentioned that churns out a large percentage of minority students (notably African-American) that end up in STEM PhD programs, and is considered to be leading non HBCU institution for Afram students. Since UMBC has a very high average freshman GPA and higher SAT/ACT scores compared to many of the listed schools, and has a much much higher success rate for African-American students than Purdue University and the others do, and has undergraduate professors that are rated 13th best in the country, that satisfies the concept of "successfully competing with the Ivy League schools in academic rigor... attracting superstar faculty and in competing for the best and brightest students of all races," (which was mentioned in the introduction of the article) in every single way. UMBC is the first institution that sent African-American students PhD programs at certain ivy league schools such as the University of Pennsylvania (which you can read about here When I used rankings, I only used very specific rakings that clearly stated their methodology, not bland and subjective rankings such as "best universities." Otherwise, all my sources were purely statistics and not rankings.
I am open to including other schools such as Georgia State and Rice University, and if you know information on them, I highly welcome you to write about that in my section. If you have information showing that any schools are strong academically, produce successful minority graduates, and have highly regarded faculty, I welcome you to include that in the section. The two of us can make the section better together in the talk section and then publish it. My intention is not to only have the focus on UMBC, but UMBC is simply the one I know the most about. However, I know that certain other schools, such as Purdue, UMass Amherst, USCarolina, UCincinnati, etc, also meet some or all of the requirements.
Just because my section has some flaws doesn't mean that the concept is totally worthless of a mention. I've never seen a perfect Wikipedia article. Almost all have room for improvement. With the publication of my section, I believe that other people who are knowledgeable of the other institutions will be able to openly share credible information about what makes their institution a "public ivy."
If we went by your standards, then even the "worthy runner upers" should be removed from the article as well, since it is not mentioned that they are considered public ivys either.
User:Ciliatedflower (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:58, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
I think you may misunderstand what Wikipedia articles represent, and the policies that underlie the philosophy here. The bottom line is that Wikipedia is really only a compilation, an editorial distillation, of information that has already been published and put out into the public by (typically many) reliable third party sources. At Wikipedia, the articles merely restate what has already been established by others. It's not a place for editors to express their opinions, or weave materials together to reach new conclusions, or to put forth theories of how things might work, or "share information" - really, it's just a massive Restatement machine of things that are already well established. (Please go back and read the policies I linked to above.) In this case, the reliably sourced article is about "Public Ivy" universities. Indeed the very first sentence of the article defines the subject of the article by reference to the Moll book. There's really no getting around the fact that that is, in fact, what the article is about - those particular schools, as first defined and described by Moll. Later, "Greene's Guides" drew upon and expanded upon the identical subject, using the same terminology, and added to the notion with his "worthy runners up" category. That material is included here because it's 1) published by a reliable third party source (indeed was the subject of an entire new book) and is 2) directly, verbatim, on point. What you're proposing to add is both different, and not sourced to a reliable third party source. They are different because they are not "Public Ivys" (or more accurately, there's no 3d party reliable source that has identified them as such). Rather they are merely some subset of schools that you believe are like Public Ivys in some fashion, schools which you have identified, based on certain selected rankings by USNR, and comparison to Public Ivys along some subset of statistical measures. That's all. Your conclusions about how these schools may, or may not, stack up against these Public Ivys is entirely beside the point of the encyclopedia. Your views are "original research", and "synthesis" and "opinion" - none of which is properly included here. I really encourage you to go back and read some of the introductory material about how the encyclopedia is constructed so that you'll be able to better appreciate how what you want to include here is really, in the end, simply not includable. JohnInDC (talk) 02:08, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
I completely agree with John. ElKevbo (talk) 02:12, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

I see your point now. However, don't you think it's important to mention the subjectivity of the designation of "public ivys" to some degree? By at least mentioning that the books could be outdated and use unknown measures, also noting that many other public universities may academically outcompete some of the formally recognized "public ivys"? Maybe something like this

"Public Ivy" is a term coined by Richard Moll in his 1985 book Public Ivies: A Guide to America's Best Public Undergraduate Colleges and Universities to refer to US universities that are claimed to provide an Ivy League collegiate experience at a public school price.[1] Public Ivies are considered, according to The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, to be capable of "successfully competing with the Ivy League schools in academic rigor... attracting superstar faculty and in competing for the best and brightest students of all races."[2] However, the listing of public ivys could be viewed as subjective or outdated by many, especially due to the fact that many other public universities may be academically on par or outcompete some or all of the formally recognized "Public Ivy" schools. Ciliatedflower (talk) 02:50, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for going back and looking at that stuff. With your suggestion though you have the same problem - it's editorial opinion, not sourced material. But consider too, the fact that the article is 1) short, 2) static, 3) cites in the first line a 32-year-old publication and 4) notes the author's 1959 qualifications all might lead the discerning reader to conclude without any prompting that the concept is one that is pretty well mired in the last century. If the article does nothing to puncture the "Public Ivy" conceit, it by the same token does nothing to promote it. It just says what the term is meant to encompass, identifies the schools that the two authors did, and moves on. Dispassionate, fully sourced, no fluff or opinion - really, a pretty good representative of what an article ought to be! JohnInDC (talk) 03:37, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

"University of Maryland" versus "University of Maryland, College Park"[edit]

Not a big deal really, but it's turned into a slo-mo edit war, so which should it be? The former or the latter? The school's WP article is titled by the latter and the state university system uses it; but the College Park campus calls itself simply "The University of Maryland", and to my ears anyhow that seems like the COMMONNAME. (And it's a small thing, but the school's website is at, not Comments? JohnInDC (talk) 22:20, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

It should be called the University of Maryland, College Park. The school just calls themselves "the University of Maryland," the same way all the UCs refer to themselves as "University of California," but are officially referred to differently. If it is simply called the "University of Maryland," in the article, then the location cannot be tied to College Park only, especially considering the fact that most of the professional schools of the University of Maryland, such as its medical school, law school, dental, pharmacy, etc. school are NOT even located in College Park, but on the Baltimore campus. Technically all the other UM campuses could start referring to themselves as the University of Maryland if they wanted to as well, but that wouldn't change their official names. It also depends on which campuses the Greenes Guide is referring to. Is it referring to only College Park, or is it including all the others, too? UMassAlum16 (talk) 07:04, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
The article shows "College Park" in parentheses. Whether or not the other schools "could" refer to themselves as the "University of Maryland", they don't. A quick check of their websites shows that UMBC refers to itself as "UMBC",, UMES calls itself "University of Maryland Eastern Shore",, and so forth. The discussion in the end is about WP:COMMMONNAME. JohnInDC (talk) 11:59, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

This is not true. All of the professional schools in Baltimore refer to themselves as "University of Maryland." I go to Maryland Pharmacy School and we just call ourselves University of Maryland even though we aren't on the College Park campus. Looking at University of Maryland, Baltmore's website domain also shows that their website says "" Also, a lot of people not from the region surrounding the UMs will refer to UMBC as simply "the University of Maryland" as well, I saw this at UMass Amherst whenever people talked of UMBC. For example, buzzfeed once did an article on a UMBC student, but referred to UMBC as "University of Maryland." Besides, in person, many people in Maryland refer to UMCP as simply "College Park," and don't say "University of Maryland." So even though University of Maryland refers to College Park a lot of the time, there are also enough examples for when other schools are also simply referred to as "University of Maryland," that many people maybe mislead when reading the article.UMassAlum16 (talk) 17:26, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

1. The school is referenced as the "University of Maryland" in the book that this WP article is about, The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities by Howard and Matthew Greene of Greene’s Guides.[12] The book clarifies the location as College Park, Maryland, as it is the state's flagship undergraduate campus, and the book is intended to help better inform high school students, parents, and admissions counselors by providing them with a list of public colleges and universities that compare to the Ivy League. As such, the book would not be referencing the professional schools campus in Baltimore.
2. In 1997, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation allowing the University of Maryland, College Park, to be known simply as the University of Maryland, recognizing the campus' role as the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland.[13] It stated that besides the flagship institution, The University of Maryland, Baltimore, is the only other school permitted to confer certain degrees from the "University of Maryland".[14]
3. The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016, effective as of October 1, 2016, set into law that the institutions formerly known as the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore are to be known as the "University of Maryland".[15] As such, UMBC, nor any other public school in Maryland, can legally call itself the University of Maryland, despite what laypeople not involved in higher education law say colloquially. UMCB is without a doubt a high quality university, but it was not the school that the authors were referencing when they wrote this book - if it had been, they would have made that point clear. Dr. Van Nostrand (talk) 23:02, 13 January 2018 (UTC)


New edition of Greene's Guides[edit]

Evidently there's a new edition (2016?) out, rating "63 of America's top liberal arts colleges and universities". Greene's new edition calls itself "The Hidden Ivies" and more than doubles its coverage from his original 30. This article is pretty specifically about the original "Public Ivies" described in 1985, not about extended lists of "top colleges"; and I'm concerned that by about the scope creep that would be entailed by itemizing and describing Greene's new list. That being said, I agree that it's a tough line to say that Greene's original book is okay but the new edition isn't, and for that reason I'm almost inclined to suggest removing Greene from the article altogether and just leave it with Moll and his original list. Thoughts please. JohnInDC (talk) 14:25, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

I agree about the scope creep and the suggestion to limit this article to its original topic.
I'm inclined to just nominate this article for deletion; I don't think I've ever seen this phrase used not in a promotional or self-serving way (e.g., no independent sources) so I don't think one can make a real claim that the phrase or the book are genuinely notable. I worry that many editors would only see the number of sources that use the phrase without considering the quality of those sources so this would probably be a contentious discussion that would ultimately be a waste of time. ElKevbo (talk) 15:03, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't object to an AfD but I agree that it could be messy. I think that, if the article were to remain, it could be pared down to the original "Public Ivies" described by Moll, and put in the past tense - it's been 33 years; and then left alone. Later publications that leverage on, or amplify, or expand the concept in disparate, multiple ways could be, should be, omitted as in the end, beside the point. JohnInDC (talk) 16:26, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm of the view that if the new content is not undue, it should be incorporated in the separate article at Hidden Ivies. The private college Hidden Ivies are not the public university Public Ivies. The problem as I see it - is as ElKevbo describes: the focus has been on the implication of the subject matter rather then the book itself. The book itself may be notable under WP:NBOOK. The subject matter perhaps is now more similar to any of the numerous rankings systems developed today. Maybe we reach out to R. Kelchen to ask him to write something up in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Randomeditor1000 (talk) 12:30, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Ack, I had no idea that whole other page was there. All the more reason to truncate this article - whatever Greene had to say about this subject, it's been superseded and is really a separate subject now. JohnInDC (talk) 16:50, 5 June 2018 (UTC)