Dear Members of the University Community:
At Wake Forest, world-class scholars teach undergraduate and graduate students every day. Wake Forest teachers and advisors know their students, care about them and serve as mentors, often long after they graduate. Our distinctive educational character is well known and contributes to the record application numbers we have seen in recent years.
This morning, U.S. News and World Report released its 2024 National Universities ranking using a new methodology. Seventeen of the 19 indicators used in this year’s U.S. News methodology are different from last year; it is, in essence, a new ranking system. U.S. News no longer measures things that make us who we are, such as average class size and percentage of faculty with terminal degrees who are top scholars and experts in their fields. With this new methodology, Wake Forest ranks 47th among 435 national universities.
In addition to Wake Forest, some of the nation’s most highly regarded private universities – including the University of Chicago, Dartmouth, NYU, Washington University in Saint Louis, Tufts, and Vanderbilt – are among those with lower rankings this year. Research-intensive universities, and public universities generally, improved their rankings, in part due to new measures of faculty research output that benefit universities with larger graduate doctoral degree (Ph.D.) programs and faculties focused primarily on research. Enrollment size also impacted the metrics.
These facts, among others, are important in understanding our current position. You can access a factsheet on this year’s ranking on the Institutional Research website.
Wake Forest believes in transparent measurements of academic quality and student outcomes. We are committed to providing real data and success metrics to demonstrate the value of a Wake Forest education and its impact on the lives and careers of our students. Because of this, we do not make decisions or determine University strategy based on rankings. We will remain steadfast in our stated commitments, goals, and vision for the University – and continue striving to provide the best possible educational opportunities.
Each of you knows from personal experience what makes Wake Forest so special. Thank you for sharing those experiences with others, and for contributing to our academic community.
Susan R. Wente