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Duke Beats MIT On US News Rank With Lower Scores

By Shang-Lin Chuang and Daniel C. Stevenson
Staff Reporters

MIT ranked fifth for the second year in a row in the U.S. News &World Report survey of the nation's best colleges, despite outscoring the fourth-place finisher in many categories.

Yale University jumped to the top of the list, followed by Princeton University. Harvard University fell to third place after six years at the top of the list.

Duke University (4) and Stanford University (6) swapped places from last year. Rounding out the top 10 were Dartmouth College (7), Brown University (8), and the California Institute of Technology (9).

"I am pleased for MITto be recognized again as one of the very top handful of universities in the nation," said President Charles M. Vest. "We should continue to strive for excellence and to do what we believe is important in education and research and let the chips fall where they may."

MIT fell to second place in the ranking of engineering schools from first last year. Also in second place are Caltech, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Stanford took first, while Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Purdue University tying for sixth.

"This raises my competitive instincts despite the fact that differing by one-tenth of a point out of 100 is pretty meaningless," Vest said. "I have great admiration for Stanford's engineering school, but let's keep striving to be the best by doing our best."

Ranked by discipline, MIT came first in aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, materials engineering, and mechanical engineering.

The survey rated the Institute's Sloan School of Management the nation's third-best business school behind the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

"We're a specialized and not a totally comprehensive university," said Director of MIT News Office Kenneth D. Campbell said. "I don't think we'd ever be number one."

MIT beats Duke across the board

Duke, which placed just ahead of MIT, fell significantly behind the Institute in all but two of the criteria listed in the report.

"I don't know what prompted [Duke] to be propelled into fourth place," Campbell said. "The scoring is complex," but MIT has been in fourth or fifth for many years now.

"From what I know, Duke is a very good university that has continued to grow stronger during the past few decades," Vest said. "Maybe it got a boost because its presidents, Nan Keohane, is a trustee of MIT!"

MIT tied with Princeton for the first-place academic reputation, compared to Duke's ranking of eleventh. MIT also ranked fourth in student selectivity, compared to Duke's ranking of ninth.

The Institute edged out Duke in faculty resources, financial resources, alumni-giving rank, standardized test scores, percentage of freshmen in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and student/faculty ratio.

The only criteria in which Duke beat MIT were 1995 graduation rate (95 percent vs. 89 percent), and percentage of classes larger than 50 (7 percent vs. 12 percent). The retention rate counted for a total of 20 percent of the school's overall score, putting MIT at a disadvantage at its eleventh-place rank.

Education expenditures per student were also the same for Duke and MIT, at $37,376.

Stacey E. Blau contributed to the reporting in this story.

Copyright 19,95, The Tech. All rights reserved.
This story was published on 9/6/96.
Volume 116, Number 39.
This story appeared on page 23.

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