Top Ten List of . . . Top Ten Lists in HIgher Education

There is an enormous amount of controversy about rankings of colleges and universities, Everyone wants to be ranked — and ranked well. And yet, we all know that the ranking systems are problematic. They can be gamed. They can be wrong. They can be misused. Having said that,  I am not writing about the US News and World Report rankings or any of the newer international rankings of universities. I am more serious. Much more serious.  I am writing about the



list. (Thanks to this site for the picture). And, as you can see, I am serious. So, here is my (current) top ten list of top ten lists (with a tiny bit of commentary)

1. The Weirdest College Mascots  Yes, a banana slug is an odd mascot. Having said that, I think they missed opportunities when they missed the Flaming Smelts (Shimer College) and the brackets (New College of Florida).

2. The Top 10 Nerdiest Colleges as presented on Huffington Post includes a terrific list of places — including the aforementioned New College of Florida — but nothing from Illinois let alone Chicago. Really? Hmmm.

3. Ten Colleges with the Best Brands — Here the comments are key: why are there only universities listed? What does it mean if I have never heard of one of them? And which Illinois university appears?

4. 10 Colleges with the best food  — I cared a lot about food when I was in college (okay, I went to a university). And, I worked for decades at the site of the founding of Saga. Food matters. Only nearby Wheaton College makes it from our environs, despite Chicago being such a foodie paradise. Hmmm.

5. The 25 best fictional colleges on television and in film! Yes, 15 extra for free!

6. And yes, my top ten list has only 5 top ten lists. Of course there are more — ten great college towns, 15 colleges where geek is chic , colleges where the pursuit of knowledge extends beyond the classroom (and yes, our own University of Chicago appears here), and more.

Next time, it will be my own list of Chicago(land) higher education bests. So, keep your eye out for more in this (new) category.


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  • The Top 10 Nerdiest Colleges as presented on Huffington Post includes a terrific list of places -- including the aforementioned New College of Florida -- but nothing from Illinois let alone Chicago. ADM-201 dumps

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    Shimerprez is the 14th president of Shimer College at 35th and State. She also blogs at the Huffington Post and at a Shimer Blog called Evocations which can be found on line at She is a University of Chicago Ph.D. who works on religion, the social sciences, gender and sexuality. She reads murder mysteries, is fascinated by the world of food, and also loves the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

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