|Latest Rankings Laud Davidson's Hoop Dreams and Undergrad Research
August 22, 2007
Contact: John Syme
With annual college rankings splashed across newsstands nationwide, Davidson College once again holds its own in the top tiers of higher education.
For example, the Wildcats basketball team claimed a righteous Top 25 spot in ESPN’s pre-preseason national rankings by Andy Katz: “Don't really care if you think this pick is crazy,” Katz opined in his inimitable style. “Davidson has one of the hidden gems in Stephen Curry. Bob McKillop is one of the top coaches who gets zero pub."
Also, Davidson is listed at number nine this year among liberal arts colleges nationwide, in U.S. News and World Report “Best Colleges” issue.. That's up one spot from last year's designation. It is also the fourth consecutive year that Davidson's collaborative student-faculty research programs have been cited alongside other national leaders, including large research universities like MIT, Harvard, and the University of Michigan. The list cuts across all categories of institutions. Of the 35 schools cited, Davidson is one of only 12 that are private liberal arts colleges.
U.S. News and World Report's much-ballyhooed annual college rankings issue, begun in 1982 to help the struggling newsweekly boost circulation, has come under increasing fire during the last year. Some say that the survey's methodoloogies are too subjective, and some institutions have refused to submit data the magazine requested.
In spite of methodological limitations, Davidson’s Director of Planning and Institutional Research, Linda LeFauve, said that the U.S. News rankings can be a useful tool as a starting point for parents and students researching colleges. “The project collects information that can be useful, including information about graduation rates, faculty resources, and selectivity,” said LeFauve. “We are less concerned with specific rank, but are pleased that we continue to be counted among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.”
So, although skeptical about any process that reduces a significant amount of data to a single number, Davidson will continue to cooperate with U.S. News in its requests for information for the annual rankings issue.
The category that includes Davidson, “National Liberal Arts Colleges,” includes 239 private institutions plus 27 public institutions. The magazine's categories of evaluation are peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance, and alumni giving rate.
As for those men’s basketball Wildcats, we’ll stick with Katz: “This team will win 28 to 29 games and be a tough out in the NCAAs. So deal with Davidson in the Top 25.”
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,700 students. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.
Posted By: Bill Giduz