Barnard boycotts U.S. News’ “swimsuit issue,” compares it to “drunk who looks for his car keys under the lamppost”

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jdhfHere comes the revolution: members of the Annapolis Group, a loose consortium of liberal arts colleges, have finally decided to bolt from U.S. News and World Report’s embattled college rankings, and are promising to come up with a system of their own. Among them is outgoing Barnard President Judith Shapiro, who laid out her opposition back in 1998, penning those fabulous title quotes and making the dubious claim that the rankings cannot be an accurate measure of collegiate quality if they place Barnard so low (the bears aren’t that low–just solidly middle of the road). 

Spokespeople said that “over 50 percent” of the organization had decided not to provide  their data to the annual survey. Bwog wonders which half that would be.

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  1. ...

    Not that I care either way, but now everyone from Barnard can say they go to the #8 (or #9?) university in the country.


    so is Barnard no longer a real college?

  3. kudos

    I've been waiting for this ever since I heard Thacker speak in April. The best part about the NY Times piece is Amherst Prez Anthony Marx's--a crazy motherfucker--response. No shit Amherst isn't going to drop out of the U.S. ranking. How else would they and Williams attract students to the middle of nowhere?

    Going to school is about more than the classroom education. I know plenty of 26th rank Barnard students that are doing really great/interesting stuff this summer. The two kids I know that go to 2nd ranked Amherst are smoking weed, playing frisbee, and painting houses. Aww man, fuck that shit, I should've gone to Amherst.

  4. blah blah blah

    Barnard girls still havent accepted the fact they just didnt make it into Columbia...

    • blargh blargh

      and Columbia students still havent accepted that the University sold off the exclusivity rights of their undergrad education over 30 years ago for a bit of cash...

      • blargh(?) blargh (?)

        Pardon my ignorance, but what are you talking about? How do you sell exclusivity rights to an undergraduate education?

        Are they cloning students/professors?

        • this is how  

          I think that blargh blargh is talking about the cash that Barnard forks over every year so that its students can take classes at Columbia.

          • Alum

            That's what I thought, but I have no idea where the "over 30 years ago" came from. The Barnard-Columbia relationship is much older than that, and its most recent re-negotiation was at most 24 years ago when the College went co-ed. I believe it has been renegotiated at least once since then.

            Barnard isn't really a profit center for Columbia. The balance of trade in cross-registrations is in Columbia's favor but not dramatically. Barnard pays some other fees but Columbia provides services (like access to the libraries and sports facilities) in exchange. The amount of money involved is too small to motivate Low Library to compromise the degree.

    • And

      Columbia students still haven't accepted the fact that not every Barnard girl wanted to go to Columbia. But you're too big a douche to realize that.

  5. OK, hold on a sec

    the Annapolis group isn't boycotting the US News Rankings, they're boycotting the reputation survey that asks presidents to rank other schools' reputation.

  6. anon

    this post had nothing of the way of actual analysis behind what motivated the decision or any sort of relavent statement from judith shapiro.

  7. Obviously

    one cannot depend on these rankings. otherwise barnard would not jump from 37 to 25 in one year (i believe it was 2003 to 2004). no idea what it is now, because frankly it does not matter. its a relatively arbitrary distinction. sure its useful to know where a schools relative rank is, but i definitely understand the motivation behind boycotting the procedure, at least until a better, more efficient, and more dependable system is established.

  8. US News Sucks

    It fucking sucks. Any idiot can tell you that Columbia is ranked higher than Penn or Duke, and these asswipes keep placing both schools in front. At one point, they ranked Penn ahead of Stanford. Give me a break.

    We all know that the USNWR ranking is complete bullshit

    • you sir  

      are an idiot. What makes Columbia better? Mind sharing your meticulously collected metrics to prove your assertion? Oh? You don't have any? Just a hunch eh?

      • well  

        penn is in philadelphia and duke is in some place in north carolina. i think that's enough to justify anything. also, here are my meticulously collected metrics:

        columbia 32
        duke 10
        penn 1

        QED, bitch.

        • Alum

          I really hope you're not representative of today's Columbia undergrads. Yikes!

          For the record, though, I note the following:

          NOBEL PRIZES

          Columbia: 81

          Penn: 22

          Duke: 4

          Columbia thus has had more than three times as many Nobel Prizes as Penn and Duke *combined*. This statistic isn't the only one that matters, of course, but hopefully it satisfies #26's challenge.

  9. Uhm

    Amherst is hardly the middle of nowhere...

    Anyway. If you go to one of these elite schools, it's not like anybody gives a shit which one, man. I'm not in one of Columbia's better programs -- at all -- but a name is a name. I'd get the same response if I'd gone to Amherst. Or Princeton. Or Stanford. Or one of hundreds of other schools... the rank obsession really impairs anyone's ability to be evaluated on their own merits.

  10. barnard student

    Thanks everyone for not letting me go more than 2 weeks without making me feel like one of the stupidest people on Earth for choosing to go to Barnard. I really appreciate it.

  11. Clearly  

    Barnard's role then, if not to be a profit center, is to service Columbia men.
    But in response to #2, Barnard is no more a college than seas or cc, if their diploma says Columbia University on it.
    You will forever be mocked until your women stop introducing themselves as Columbia students when they meet someone new.

    • Another Anon.

      Re. Barnard students introducing themselves as Columbia students...
      I live in the south, so when I tell people I go to Barnard, the response is always "Huh?"
      So then I say, "It's part of Columbia University" -- they still usually say "Huh?" but are slightly more likely to have heard of it... If I started introducing myself as a Columbia student, that would be the reason why.

  12. CHR-Monthly

    Although we at 'College Hand Relief Monthly' do not, as yet, enjoy the circulation of the venerable 'U.S. News and World Report', we hope to one day become as synonymous with rankings of collegiate hand relief as the latter is for popular, if not entirely accurate, rankings of colleges themselves. Pertinent to the current discussion, Barnard College received our "Silky Palm" plaque of achievement this past spring for the third straight year in a row. This award recognizes excellence in the area of least abrasive encounters in a dorm room/bathroom/ or closet while simultaneously operating a wireless device. Also, Barnard ranked 8th in our overall rankings beating out Columbia College (girls division) who came in at an unimpressive 43rd. As we at the magazine like to say around the office, however, when it comes to hand relief...everyone's a winner.

  13. T Pain  

    Can I buuuuuuy u a draaaank?

  14. dude  

    seas just started accepting a lower percentage of applicants than barnard recently.

    historically, they've been the ones devaluing the degree.

    • duuuuude

      Check out the median stats of SEAS vs CC admits and get back to us about degree devaluing. After that, check out starting salaries and employment rates after graduation of SEAS vs CC kids. Should be some fun reads.

      • Alum

        When the College was all-male it admitted well over 50% of its applicants. Even so, alums from those years (I'm not one of them) have done quite well. Despite having long been co-ed, SEAS didn't fall below 50% until several years later. Its grads have also done pretty well.

        Barnard's admit rates, SAT scores and other statistics are much better today than the College's were back when it was earning the reputation (or, as your consumerist generation insists on calling it, the "value") you folks are benefitting from today.

        And for the record, Barnard's grads have had a pretty impressive track record of their own.

        Until your generation proves it can live up to the standards set by its predecessors, you should withhold this sort of judgment. You and your classmates may end up devaluing *my* degree.

      • if you

        had taken any humanities/philosophy classes, you would know better than to equate the starting salary of an engineer (regardless of whether they went to SEAS) with overall intelligence.

        • And If you

          weren't so full of yourself, you would realize philosophy is a bullshit major nowadays and you add nothing to society with it.

          And yes, US News & World Report rankings are financially backed. They run their formulas a bunch of times, tweaking them slightly each time, until they get the rankings they figure will sell the most issues. There are multiple articles by current and former editors at US N&WR that admit to this.



  16. SEAS v CC

    It's a little more nuanced, even if you're looking at people who know science. If you are qualified with the stats, it's easy to get into SEAS. Not so with CC. It's easier to get into CC in the sense that people who have no shot at SEAS can get into CC, but it's harder to get into CC in the sense that someone with a really high chance at SEAS has a harder shot at CC. But they're really different schools - you go to SEAS if you want to be an engineer, you go to CC if you want to be a scientist or not do science and engineering at all. One's not really devaluing the other. It's a dumb argument.
    Although it's probably true that more people in CC are straight idiots.

  17. US News


    seriously. i know the people who do the rankings.

  18. dude dude  

    Dear Aluminum Potassium Sulfate,

    I just wanted to call you by your full name.

  19. pwned!

    ha this post concerned Barnard students, but it's turned into a CC vs SEAS fight. Oh how easily we forget...

  20. BAN GS

    Ban the SChool of General Studies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. blargh blargh

    1) In 1973 Columbia opened up broad cross-registration to Barnard to leverage its larger course catalog to cover massive budget shortfalls. This is also when Columbia more or less took over the Barnard tenure process.

    2) Re: exclusivity- see GS. GS students get the same access to education/classes and get the same degree as CC students. Bet you didn't know that when you were applying to a school of "4000 undergraduates."

    My point is that all these inter-school arguements and attempts to distinguish over the smallest things are an attempt to reclaim a certain 'exclusivity' that Columbia (the University) doesn't particularly care about, because GS and BC are just revenue streams as far as the budgeteers are concerned.

  22. Southerner

    I think everyone in the South is familiar with Columbia and Barnard, that is, anyone with an education. Lame excuse.

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