Over at The Jesuit Post, Jason Welle, S.J., offers some well researched thoughts on the value of rankings for Jesuit colleges and universities, finding the typical U.S. News & World Report determinations missing something.
The 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States aren’t immune from the influence of the Best Colleges rankings. When the 2014 Best Colleges rankings were released last year, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities issued a press release touting that “all 28 Jesuit institutions are listed near the top of their classification category among America’s ‘Best Colleges.’” The press release went on to quote AJCU president Rev. Michael J. Sheeran, SJ as saying, “The 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings clearly demonstrate that Jesuit colleges and universities across the nation continue to rank as institutions of educational excellence.” And I have to admit, as Jesuit who’s worked in one Jesuit university and who holds a graduate degree from another, it thrills me to see our schools get that kind of recognition.
But some time ago, my friend and I started to wonder: is that really the criteria that we’re competing with as Jesuit colleges and universities? Are we just trying to play a better game than bigger, and frankly better endowed universities on the list, or aren’t we really trying to do something different altogether?Advertisement
What criteria of excellence might better serve Catholic institutions? Welle explains.