The 2007 U.S. News & World Report: America’s Best Colleges report is out and once again RIT received recognition for being among the best regional universities in the North. RIT also earned kudos for being among the best co-op programs in the nation. Both the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and the E. Philip Saunders College of Business were also ranked. For more details, check out our news release: http://www.rit.edu/~930www/webnews/viewstory.php3?id=2023
So how can RIT improve its rankings?
Our friend Becca was right on target in an earlier post: RIT alumni can move the needle. Here is how: U.S. News uses a series of metrics to rank a school. These include 11 areas such as assessments by other colleges, freshmen retention, graduation rate, SAT scores and more. But one area stands out with a somewhat poor grade: Alumni participation. At RIT, about 9 percent of alumni participate in annual giving. By comparison, most schools that we compete against are above 20 percent in givingâ€¦.And Princeton, No. 1 overall in the U.S. News rankings, has an alumni-giving rate of 61 percent.
Alumni participation doesn’t mean you have to give away your first born. I realize gas prices and the cable bill are out of controlâ€¦ But just giving a few bucks to your alma mater will increase the value of your degree. The key is participation, not the actual amount. Move the needle.
RIT’s endowment of about $580 million is solid. But when compared to other peer universities, it could be better.
RIT alumni: Don’t you want to see your alma mater continue to ascend? Don’t you want to help a current student by contributing to the endowment? Don’t you want to brag around the water cooler that your school is on the move?
You don’t need a football team to be proud. Besides, we have D-I Tiger Hockey.
Move the needle. Participate.
It should be noted that the metric with the most weight is “peer assessment.” Here, RIT does extremely well. And it’s a good thing because this counts for 25 percent of the entire score. In this measurement, other college presidents, provosts and dean judge RIT. RIT ranked second in this category behind Villanova.
Meanwhile, now is RIT’s chance to make a move. Apparently some alumni at the Ivies are getting complacent about the rankings. It must be true because it says so in the Washington Post â˜º http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/20/AR2006082000603.html?sub=new
On a final note, RIT was also just listed in the Princeton Review’s “The Best 361 Colleges” (http://www.princetonreview.com). I have no idea why they settle on such a strange number as 361, but it is impressive and important to be in the annual guide. According to Princeton Review, only 15 percent of the four-year colleges in America and two Canadian colleges are in the book.
In surveys, RIT students had this to say about their own campus: “small classes…lab facilities are greatâ€¦great computer facilitiesâ€¦great libraryâ€¦athletic facilities are greatâ€¦.great off-campus foodâ€¦campus feels safeâ€¦”
RIT is on the move. Alumni can help in RIT’s transformation from good to great. Move the needle. Participate.