Institutional News

What Wasn’t Considered in the College Survey

President Silver was among several college presidents who signed a letter published in the Wall Street Journal which pointed out how ranking rules exclude “some of the most outstanding small colleges in the country.”

Wall Street Journal

"We, along with the presidents of Agnes Scott College, St. John’s College and Bennington College, worry that your exclusion from The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings of some of the most outstanding small colleges in the country simply because their enrollments don’t top 1,000 students or because they don’t meet a specific level of faculty research output does a disservice to your readers and to the very students and parents you are attempting to help (“U.S. College Rankings,” Journal Report, Sept. 27).

These colleges have amazing reputations for outstanding classroom teaching, strong student living and learning communities, innovative research conducted by faculty experts and their undergraduate students, cutting-edge pedagogy development and achievements in preparing graduates to become successful leaders in multiple disciplines. They have been noted for their successes in various national rankings, in news stories highlighting their work and accomplishments, in academic scholarly research on effective teaching methods and across a spectrum of other media. By any meaningful measure, these small colleges are each providing students with unique and wonderful educational experiences and are highly cherished for their efforts. Their exclusion from your rankings deprives readers of valuable information for making college choices.

College size can be a crucial consideration when families are selecting the appropriate college experience. With their small student-to-faculty ratios, our colleges are focused primarily on providing the highest quality teaching for undergraduates. In many cases, colleges like ours have made conscious choices to remain small to better serve our students and our missions."

Gregory D. Hess Ph.D.


Wabash College

Crawfordsville, Ind.

Maria Klawe Ph.D.


Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, Calif.