Columbia University’s ranking among the best US universities fell from second to 18th in 2022-23, the latest report from US News and World Report shows.
In 2021, when it was ranked second, US News had “declassified” the Ivy League university after allegations of incorrect data presented by the institute.
Columbia University in a statement issued on September 9 had admitted to sending incorrect information to the organization, exaggerating the size of its classes and the number of full-time professors who have terminal degrees. These factors are taken into account when calculating university rankings by US News and World Report.
The university said it used “outdated and/or incorrect methodologies” in its previous years’ submissions for the rankings.
“Columbia’s undergraduate experience is and always has been focused on small classes taught by very senior faculty. That fact has not changed. But anything less than complete accuracy in the data we report, regardless of size or reason , is inconsistent with the standards of excellence to which Columbia is held. We deeply regret the deficiencies in our prior reports and are committed to doing better,” Columbia Provost Mary Boyce said in the statement.
This came after Dr. Michael Thaddeus, a professor of mathematics, questioned Columbia University’s dramatic rise from 18th place in its debut year in 1988, to second place in 2021, surpassed only by Princeton and tied with Harvard and MIT. Thaddeus allegedly said that the data provided by the institute were wrong. “Some of the key figures supporting Columbia’s high ranking are inaccurate, dubious or highly misleading,” he said.
Thaddeus also published an extensive analysis on the institute’s faculty website in February of this year, comparing the figures submitted to US News with data released internally by the institute.
In response, Columbia University has said it will not submit data to participate in the US News and World Report university rankings next year. The institute also launched a review into faculty concerns about data submitted to the organization in the past.
This year, US News and World Report evaluated 1,500 US degree-granting institutions. Princeton University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology took first and second place respectively for 2022-23. Harvard University, Stanford University and Yale University tied for third place.
The rankings are based on 17 parameters that assess academic quality, including graduation and retention rate, undergraduate academic reputation and financial resources per student, among others.