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The College Ranks

Paul Sunde.jpgIn a story about the College’s dropping U.S. News ranking, The D’s Emilia Baldwin elicited an interesting quote from Maria Laskaris’ interim replacement Paul Sunde (right):

In the lead-up to the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings, interim dean of admissions and financial aid Paul Sunde said he hopes that the policy initiatives of “Moving Dartmouth Forward” will be recognized in the rankings.

Sunde said that he feels the U.S. News and World Report rankings garner a significant amount of attention from the press and that, overall, Dartmouth’s place in the rankings has improved during his time at the College.

Paul has now been at the College for fifteen years, and a review of Dartmouth’s rankings over time illustrates that his statement is not even arguably true:

Dartmouth U.S. News Ranking 1991-2015.jpg

In the two years prior to Sunde’s arrival at the College in 2000, our ranking dropped from 7th to 11th, but then for a seven-year stretch, it settled in at 9th place. The current ranking of 12th is the worst ranking that the College has ever had.

Of course, one could make the argument that rankings have little meaning, but then one could also make the argument that after a decade and a half of Jim Wright, Jim Kim, Carol Folt, and a lackluster Phil Hanlon, the College is in worse shape that it has ever been.

Addendum: A statistician eyeballing the above histogram would have no difficulty discerning a trend-line.

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