Florida State University in recent years has significantly improved its academic reputation by securing a spot in the top twenty public universities in the United States. However, the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings have taken away one of Florida State’s biggest honors in a long time, which now begs the question of where Florida State will be in the foreseeable future.
Florida State maintained its status throughout the early 2020s, until U.S. News & World Report dropped its ranking this year to #23. Not only did the ranks deliver a blow to our university’s claim to fame, but the infamous University of Florida slightly dipped to #6 in the country. Some have wondered why after so many consistent years of success, Florida State is starting to slip. However, President McCullough seemed unshaken by the shift.
“Rankings and their methodologies are divergent. They only scratch the surface of what makes Florida State exceptional. They do not define our mission,” said President McCullough.
“Moving forward, we will continue to concentrate on what matters — strategically investing in areas that contribute to student success and help advance our goals as we strive for even greater academic and research excellence,” McCullough added.
According to last year’s metrics, Florida State University would have placed #16 among public universities, McCullough claimed. He also argued that Florida State has not declined in quality as an institution, but the rankings are more so a numbers game. The FSView and Florida Flambeau reported that the online platform, Niche placed Florida State at #11 nationally in 2023, up from #13 in 2022.
It’s important for students not to lose morale simply because U.S. News & World Report has done what some would characterize as shifting the goalposts of what it means to be a top public academic institution. Certainly, our school will not improve if we deny the rules that groups like these play by. If Florida State wishes to see greater heights achieved than being a top 20 public university, then they must learn how to play the rankings game — but at what cost?
Florida State harbors a culture that the students, and especially President McCullough seem to be very proud of. Higher-ups at Florida State need to decide if they’ll simply play a numbers game and raise our perceived value as an institution, or if our school will be true to itself and preserve the diverse and intellectually rich campus we have.