U.S. News and World Report has decided to reclassify GW as “unranked” in light of the University’s disclosure of an error in the way one statistic, percentage of incoming freshmen who graduated in the top 10% of their high school class, had been reported. This unfortunate move on the part of USNWR is explained by its director of data research here.
I’d like to offer a few thoughts about this story to our students and their families, and to our faculty, staff, national council members, current and future employers of our graduates, alumni, and other friends in the community.
First, we can all be proud of the way President Knapp, Provost Lerman, and Vice Provost Maltzman handled the discovery that data had been reported incorrectly: they came right out and said so, voluntarily, quickly, and with complete transparency. We should applaud this decision, which included a full independent audit and restructuring of internal oversight procedures, because it makes clear that for GW ethics precedes expediency. As President Knapp notes in his public statement to the community, “we [disclosed the mistake] without regard to any possible action that U.S. News might take as a result…”