University ranked 132 in U.S. News annual list

Tamonda Griffiths News Writer

In the latest U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the Best Regional Universities in the North, Southern Connecticut State University was ranked #132 out of a list of 196 other colleges and universities– private and public. This rank was determined by data previously submitted to U.S. News; Southern had declined to participate this year.

When asked if Southern held much stock in this ranking, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Prezant said the university does not hold much stock in this ranking.

“We count on our hardworking, smart students who had a good experience here, spreading the word a lot,” Prezant said.

U.S. News and World Report’s ranking is based on numerous categories, such as alumni giving, student excellence, financial resources, expert opinions, faculty resources, and graduation and retention rates.

Many of which have subcategories that explain the methodology behind the ranking.

Prezant said the university was aware of when the ranking was taking place because
of the “mailings” from other universities that
were trying to “solicit”
a good review from Southern. However, he does not “recall even having a conversation” concerning the university’s participation in the ranking.

“I think it’s important when you look at rankings to also pay attention to
the formulas that they use to actually create their rankings,” said Dr. Jules Tetreault, assistant vice president and dean of student affairs.

Tetreault said when comparing public and private institutions against one another the data “speaks differently.”

The number one school listed is Fairfield University, a private university in Fairfield, Conn.

“Rankings are rankings,” said Tetreault.

Tetreault said there are universities who put a lot of time and energy into maintaining a decent ranking rather than focusing on students, but Southern also must find ways to show its “value to external constituents.”

One way is the university’s accreditation from the New England Association of Schools
and Colleges (NEASC). According to NEASC, this accreditation demonstrates to prospective students the quality of the university and areas of improvement for participating universities.

Nikolas Strickland, a sophomore, exercise science major said the ranking was not “particularly” on the forefront of his decision to attend Southern.

“I was looking for, more of what this school’s majors had to offer me,” said Strickland.

He is happy with the choice he made to attend. Kenneth Baah, a sophomore, sport management major, also said the ranking had no bearing on his decision to attend.

“I live in Hamden, so it’s pretty close by,” Baah said. “My brother went here, so it was always going to be an option.”

While Southern may not have been Michelle Langley’s first choice she said it did have something worth offering.

“I do appreciate the diversity here and the support for academics on campus,” said Langley.

“Our students have complex lives,” said Tetreault.

Tetreault said rankings tend to distract from “what’s in front of us,” such as students, faculty and staff, and academics.

“[It] takes students, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration to really let people know the gem that is right here in New Haven.”

Photo Credit: Tamonda Griffiths



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