The Rankings Game

By Chad Galts / November / December 2000
October 24th, 2007
When U.S. News & World Report releases its college rankings every fall, the magazine is either celebrated for its wisdom or reviled for its faulty methodology. Even though Brown dropped from ninth to fifteenth in this year’s U.S. News rankings, campus scorn was reserved for a different publication: Men’s Health.

In a September story titled “Best and Worst Campuses for Men,” the magazine’s editors declared Brown one of the ten most anti-male schools in the country. Editors at the magazine (who refused to comment for this report) evaluated schools in six areas: athletics, academics, fraternities, student codes of conduct, something called “social friendliness,” and “the four-year factor,” an even more nebulous category involving community, architecture, and location.

“Smothered in half-baked feminism,” Brown was faulted for a code of student conduct the editors deemed too restrictive; the University also scored badly on whatever scale the magazine used to grade social friendliness. Brown fared better than Oberlin, however, where “mental vasectomies [are] mandatory,” and received a better grade than Antioch, where in the judgment of the editors “traditional male competitiveness is a cardinal sin.

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November / December 2000