Volume 5  Issue # 5
Monday, October 21, 2002

The President's Post
       Several of my presidential colleagues tell me that they pay little attention to U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings in their publication “America’s Best Colleges.” I suppose I believe them. Coincidentally, however, these are also presidents of lowly ranked campuses. I usually try to remain silent and not argue with them, but I am afraid that my non-verbal expression of absolute smugness reveals my true feelings. Smugness is occasionally justifiable.

   I am proud of our rankings in the 2003 publication. Being ranked as a top-tier university, for the 4th consecutive year, is a tribute to Ozarks, our students, faculty, and staff. That ranking is a campus-wide achievement.

   U.S. News & World Report lists us as the #1 BEST VALUE among comprehensive bachelor degree campuses in the South. That ranking compares a university’s cost of education to its educational quality and excellence. Our students are receiving the best education possible at the most reasonable price. In addition, Ozarks is listed as a university where students graduate with the least amount of debt. I am proud of that as well.

   Very few universities have the distinction of being named #1 in anything, and only 25% of all campuses nationwide are ranked in the top-tier. Many universities and their presidents are now looking up at Ozarks. And, you know what, I really like that because I have spent most of my life looking up at others. But not today!

   Yes, smugness is occasionally justifiable.

Dr. Rick Niece
President



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