Archive for Thursday, August 26, 2004

Baker once again named top university

August 26, 2004

Baker University is continuing to keep its prestigious spot among the nation's top-ranked universities.

Baker was recently ranked 46th on U.S. News and World Report's listing of Midwestern universities whose highest degree offered is a master's degree.

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The university was also selected for the second year as a top school in the Midwest by the Princeton Review.

Though the U.S. News and World Report ranking is slightly lower than last year's 35th spot, the university is still among the 72 schools listed in the top tier of the four tiers ranked. The magazine rated 143 Midwestern universities in Baker's category.

Baker President Dan Lambert said the university has made the magazine's list since the rankings began 10 to 12 years ago. He said though Baker is honored to be ranked in the top tier once again, making the list is not a goal of the university.

"It's not one of the most important things for which we strive," he said. "I think that if we're doing the job we feel ought to be done, then those things will take care of themselves."

U.S. News and World Report looks at a number of variables when ranking the schools, according to Lambert. He said academic reputation as well as university information that includes graduation rate, student grade point average, class size and teacher to student ratio is scrutinized.

"It kind of covers the waterfront of what the institution does," he said.

But Lambert said the ranking can't examine all of the variables important to the university.

"What the survey can't capture is the character of the institution, or it's tradition," he said. "Perhaps more than anything, that distinguishes one institution from another."

Lambert said he's also pleased with Baker's second year on Princeton Review's list of top-ranked schools. The Best Midwestern Colleges guide features 170 top Midwest public and private colleges from 13 states.

He said the university is ranked based on the perspectives and responses of current students.

"Students are characteristically very candid," he said. "So I thought the Princeton Review was fairly balanced. It painted an accurate picture."

He said the students praised the university's focus on the individual student, as well as its sense of community in their educational and spiritual growth.

Lambert said he was pleased with the recent rankings, but also said the university was just trying to provide its students with the best education institution possible.

"I do believe if the school goes about its mission with a lot of tenacity, you're going to see that reflected eventually," he said.

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