After reading “La Verne drops five spots in college rankings” by Michael Saakyan in the Campus Times (Sept. 19), I was troubled that comments attributed to me did not accurately reflect the basis of the US News & World Report rankings.
I am a believer in and advocate of wide access to higher education, and I am proud of our University’s record in this area. Our University provides educational access to all students regardless of their income, background, ethnicity, faith, etc.
It is also important to note that our rankings are not tied in any way to our students’ income levels. The implication that we dropped slightly in the rankings because of the income level of our students is not correct.
We are proud of our rankings as a top-tier nationally ranked comprehensive institution and my greatest pride is the work of our faculty and staff and the accomplishments of our students.
When I referred to our students’ income levels, my intention was to highlight the successes of our students despite any of their economic disadvantages.
As the President of this fine University, it is imperative for me to always remember the many paths our students take to arrive here – paths that are often riddled with challenges – and that it is the responsibility of all faculty and staff to support and guide every student to success.
It is critical that we all participate in conversations about higher education access and student success at the institutional, local, regional and national levels. We welcome this national dialogue, and we are actively engaging in it.