The Death of the Local College
This story is from the summer but it is a great example of how a university is so fixated on being number 1 in the US News and World Report rankings that it cooks the books and everyone knows it. The school in question is the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Business which is trying to outrank Harvard and Stanford
When I posted this story on social media, our Will Truman noted: “It’s really, really hard to get a school to accept a place as a commuter college or “lesser school”. Florida International wants to be Central Florida wants to be Florida State wants to be the University of Florida wants to be the University of Texas wants to be Berkeley.”
Indeed. I think this is one of the worst side effects of the creation of various college rankings and guides is the death of the local college and university. When I was in Chicago for Business last December, I saw lots of signs that advertised that Loyola Chicago was ranked the number one Green Campus by the Sierra Club. Now being a green campus is admirable but I was trying to think of why that should influence a students decision to attend a school over tuition, location, financial aid offerings, the strength of various academic departments, etc.
The only college I can think of that remains a truly local school are the various colleges in the City University of New York system. Based on a quick google search, the CUNY system did not start building dorms until the 2000s.
Why do you think it is so hard for schools to remain dedicated to being local or commuter institutions? Is this a side effect of globalization? Is there anything that can be done to encourage colleges and universities to think local instead of national or global?