Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My thoughts on the nuttery of a liberal political mag ranking Texas A&M as the nation’s No. 1 university

I e-mailed both Kevin Drum, Political Animal’s blogger, and Washington Monthly editor Paul Glasris the following comments about WM’s annual college rankings, apropos Glastris’ explanatory note, the rankings listed here and blogged about here.

I said:

Why is ROTC rank used as a marker for service?

As someone who lives 20 miles down the road from College Station (for only one more month, thank doorknob, before it's back to my old newspaper company in Dallas), I can testify to the cult-like nature of the Aggies' 12th Man.

Besides that issue, and the related issue that ROTC as a marker favors conservative universities (which A&M is in spades) as a marker from a LIBERAL magazine (hello?), I think it's also arguable whether ROTC, versus the Peace Corps, is actually a service organization at all.

Why not, instead, rank universities on numbers of hours of community service required to graduate, or get admitted from high school, or something, to the degree such standards exist?

I saw that the same rankings had Virginia Military Institute No. 5 among liberal arts colleges. To what should be nobody’s surprise, and definitely isn’t mine, it’s No. 1 in ROTC.

Consider this applicable under "watching people who may be chosen in the future."