LSU's ranking speaks volumes
by Sam Hanna, Jr. - posted Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 @ 12:49 pm
When U.S. News and World Report released its annual ranking of colleges and universities last week, it confirmed what we expected of LSU's standing among the best higher educational institutions in the United States.
Though still ranked a Tier One university, LSU dropped six places from 128 to 134 on U.S. News' "Best Colleges 2013" list. Harvard was ranked No. 1.
A private institution, Tulane University in New Orleans outdid LSU with the Green Wave's No. 51 ranking. The only other publicly funded university in Louisiana to make the cut as a Tier One institution was La. Tech.
Tech broke into the Tier One ranks last year at No. 194. For 2013, though, Tech dropped to the lowest possible ranking for Tier One schools at No. 199. Five other universities joined Tech at the bottom of the rung. Those five were East Carolina University, South Dakota State University, University of Montana, University of North Carolina-Charlotte and the University of South Dakota.
LSU's drop for the second year in a row on U.S. News' "Best Colleges" list can easily be explained. That is, five years of budget cuts have taken their toll on the state's Flagship University. As state funding dried up, courses and majors were cancelled, distinguished professors left for greener pastures and the university's physical well-being was ignored.
There's plenty of blame to go around for why the state has cut some $500 million in funding for Louisiana's colleges and universities since 2008. The No. 1 culprit concerns simple arithmetic, or 'rithmetic as Bill Clinton would say.