Ranking matters

Posted: March 12, 2015 at 9:38 am, Last Updated: March 12, 2015 at 4:28 pm

We do not measure our university’s success by media rankings. We measure it by the impact we have on our students, our community, and the world we live in. So I am always cautious about lending too much attention to what rankings say about us.

Yet I recognize that rankings influence public perceptions about our quality. Will-be students use them to make choices among myriads of options. While they may not be determinant, some rankings do affect our ability to attract the caliber of students we aspire to educate.

This is why I was pleased to see several of our programs recognized this week in the 2016 U.S. News and World Report rankings of the best graduate programs in the country. You can read more here, but, overall, we made impressive gains across various schools and disciplines. Let me share a few highlights.

Our nursing program climbed 43 spots to 36. Our College of Education and Human Development rose into the top 50. Our School of Law was once again ranked in the top 50 (even higher in the Intellectual Property Law discipline). The part-time MBA was ranked 69. Two engineering programs made double-digit climbs.

These rankings are great news for our students and alumni, who will benefit from an even higher recognition of the value of their Mason degrees. They also are very good news for the university, as we continue to compete for the brightest students. And they mark well-deserved public recognition for our faculty, who day-in and day-out work so hard to serve our students and help them grow.

I still contend that our success is defined by the high quality of our graduates, not the media. But we can still pause and celebrate deserving recognition of our upward trajectory. Congratulations Mason Nation!

Write to presidentstaff at scullen1@gmu.edu

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