President Klawe’s Letter to Editor on College Rankings in Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday published a letter to the editor from Harvey Mudd College President Klawe, co-written with the presidents of Wabash College, Agnes Scott College, St. John’s College and Bennington College, that outlines concerns with the methodology of the WSJ/THE U.S. College Rankings, which exclude colleges with fewer than 1,000 students.

The text of the letter is as follows.

We, along with the presidents of Agnes Scott College, St. John’s College and Bennington College, worry that your exclusion from The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings of some of the most outstanding small colleges in the country simply because their enrollments don’t top 1,000 students or because they don’t meet a specific level of faculty research output does a disservice to your readers and to the very students and parents you are attempting to help (“U.S. College Rankings,” Journal Report, Sept. 27).

These colleges have amazing reputations for outstanding classroom teaching, strong student living and learning communities, innovative research conducted by faculty experts and their undergraduate students, cutting-edge pedagogy development and achievements in preparing graduates to become successful leaders in multiple disciplines. They have been noted for their successes in various national rankings, in news stories highlighting their work and accomplishments, in academic scholarly research on effective teaching methods and across a spectrum of other media. By any meaningful measure, these small colleges are each providing students with unique and wonderful educational experiences and are highly cherished for their efforts. Their exclusion from your rankings deprives readers of valuable information for making college choices.

College size can be a crucial consideration when families are selecting the appropriate college experience. With their small student-to-faculty ratios, our colleges are focused primarily on providing the highest quality teaching for undergraduates. In many cases, colleges like ours have made conscious choices to remain small to better serve our students and our missions.

Gregory D. Hess, PhD
President
Wabash College
Crawfordsville, Ind.

Maria Klawe, PhD
President
Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, Calif.

Elizabeth Kiss, PhD
President
Agnes Scott College
Atlanta, GA

Panayiotis “Peter” Kanelos, PhD
President
St. John’s College
Annapolis, MD

Mariko Silver, PhD
President
Bennington College
Bennington, VT

View the letter in The Wall Street Journal:
What Wasn’t Considered in the College Survey
Some of the most outstanding small colleges in the country were excluded from the survey simply because their enrollments don’t top 1,000 students or because they don’t meet a specific level of faculty research.