The University tasted success for the 20th consecutive year placing first in the U.S. News and World Report rankings for the best universities in the North region. A perennial selling point for prospective families, this regional ranking affirms the University’s role as an elite school. After closer consideration, the limitations of this ranking give us an impetus to keep improving.
Criteria from student retention to faculty and financial resources determine a school’s rank in the regional report and offer accurate insights into the University as a business and a culture. While placing first in this ranking is commendable, we must also recognize the inherent confines it places upon us. Some of the University’s most frequent comparisons, such as Boston College and Georgetown University, are ranked on a national scale while we are limited to the North region. In social circles, the University is placed in the same sentence as these schools, but according to the rankings, we are subservient.
Current students, faculty and administrators must vault the University to this higher echelon of national consideration. Twenty years of static success implies a certain complacence to those on the outside of the University bubble. Students must continue to strive for success. Faculty must continue to be innovative in the classroom. Administrators must continue to expand the University and its brand. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A concerted effort on behalf of all of the University’s constituent parts will ultimately lead to an improvement in our standing in the context of our national competitors.
Members of the University community have already made significant contributions in the national collegiate sphere. Students set themselves apart from their peers by organizing the Special Olympics Fall Festival, as well as engaging in frequent endeavors of service. Our esteemed faculty is made up of published professors and members of the Augustinian Order, making the University one of two with Augustinian affiliation in the country. University alumni hold prestigious positions in a variety of professions. Our regional prominence has been proven, but our national standing is still jockeying for position.