Columbia Loses Its No. 2 Spot in the U.S. News Rankings

Does the world of university rankings have a word for “dissolved” or “defrocked”? Maybe the answer is “Unranked.”

After Columbia University was unable to verify data that supported its ranking, U.S. News & World Report quietly announced that it had “unranked” Columbia University from its No. 2 spot in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges.

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Colombia announced last week that it would be skipping the 2023 rankings, and on Thursday, the decision was posted on a US news website.

Following claims from one of its own mathematics professors that the No. 2 ranking was based on incorrect and misleading data, the university announced it would not take part in the subsequent ranking and instead conduct its own investigation.

Columbia Loses Its No. 2 Spot

When the US News Post learned of the criticism in March, it reportedly asked Columbia to verify the data it had reported, including the number of full-time and part-time faculty involved in instruction, as well as the total number of faculty members.

“To date, Colombia has been unable to provide a satisfactory response to the information requested by US News,” the post said.

Columbia Loses No. 2 Spot
Columbia Loses No. 2 Spot

In an email sent out on Friday, US News‘ chief data strategist Robert Morse explained that due to the use of previous years’ rankings data, Columbia had dropped out of several categories. University statistical survey. He said that the organization has canceled the ranking of universities earlier.

In a statement released on Friday, Columbia stated that the university “takes seriously the questions raised about our data submission” and that the university would not submit “undergraduate-related information” to US News while its own investigation was ongoing.

“Cannot be fully reviewed,” the university wrote. “While we are disappointed by the decision by US News and World Report, we consider it a matter of integrity and will not take any shortcuts in correcting it.”

US News has admitted that it lacks the resources to conduct independent audits and that it is the responsibility of the universities to review the data they submit thoroughly. However, the decision to remove Colombia from the current rankings once again raised concerns regarding the accuracy of the rankings as a whole.

In a separate blog posting, Mr. Morse said, “US News publishes annual rankings for more than 11,500 schools and hundreds of individual programs.”

He listed dozens of institutions that had come clean about 2019 data reporting errors and been punished by a yearlong suspension.

College applicants find rankings useful because it can be challenging to compare schools objectively and visit each campus they are interested in. 

“I expected, and still hope that this episode will bring more attention to the failures and failures of the ranking system,” said Colin Diver, former president of Reed College.  “Unfortunately, most elite higher education, including public criticism of the rankings of the right and left, cooperates with them.”

“I expected, still hope, that this episode will bring more attention to the failures and failures of the ranking system,” said Colin Diver, former president of Reed College. About the college ranking industry. “Unfortunately, most higher education, especially the elite, publicly criticize the rankings of the right and the left, and yet they cooperate with them.”

Christopher Eisgruber, the president of Princeton University, penned an opinion piece that was published in October in The Washington Post. In the piece, he stated that he did not like the list, despite the fact that Princeton had been ranked number one in US News rankings for the previous 11 years.

“I believe the ranking game is a bit wrong – a bit of passion that does harm when colleges, parents or students take it too seriously,” he wrote. 

Delaquerry, Ellen Contributed to research.

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