What UM can learn from lower ranking

To the editors of The Miami Hurricane,

It is certainly true that students at UM shouldn’t worry much about our school’s recent rankings slide in the U.S. News and World Report. Many fields of study don’t change much from school to school, and our university only offers more opportunities for a good education as time goes by. But that isn’t to say that UM should ignore rankings, and why we’ve fallen in them, entirely.

U.S. News announced that it was changing its methods to reflect more weight on student outcomes, like graduation figures and socioeconomic mobility, like supporting students from low-income families. Conversely, it would put less emphasis on acceptance rates and entry-level standardized test scores. These are good ideas that measure a university by its ability to add value to a student’s life, not by its ability to find privileged high-schoolers. If our school is below UF, that is a testament to what they do better than us.

I trust that the administration will recognize the value of these new goals: President Frenk’s strategy, the “Roadmap To Our New Century,” includes some heartening (if boilerplate) language on diversity and inclusion. While they’re here, and once they graduate into the “real” world, students should reflect on the value of seeking different experiences in the people around them. In a world of inequality and privilege, any systematic effort to advance opportunity for all is a lesson worth celebrating. Even if it pushes UM below UF.

William Quinlan, University of Miami Class of 2016, is a second-year law student at UM.