April 4, 2003

Good Morning:

Well, it's that time of year again. "U.S. News and World Reports" issued their annual rankings of "America's Best Graduate Schools" today.

As in years past, several Tulane schools and programs are included in this ranking. The A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane is ranked 42nd in the nation while the Tulane Law School is ranked 45th. Our Law School is also included on a list of schools that have the most racially diverse student bodies and the Environmental Law program is ranked 5th in the nation.

What can I say about these rankings that hasn't already been said? Much has been written about the lack of empirical basis for the rankings and their inclusion of non-academic data, such as the rate of alumni giving, in their calculations. Moreover, the margin of difference among schools ranked in the 30s and 40s is so small that it's hard to discern any real difference among them. And, of course, the large shifts in rankings that occur every year among schools hardly reflect reality.

Still, since they are important to many parents and prospective students, I am happy Tulane University continues to be included in these rankings and in the undergraduate rankings that are published in the fall. Hopefully, these rankings serve the function of giving students a very general idea of a university's quality and encourage closer analysis, by parents and prospective students, in the school selection process.

Have a highly ranked weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638