UM On a Roll

The highly reliable folks at US News have given the University of Miami another bump in the rankings, raising it to 47, and vaulting it above its in-state rivals. The local booster rag, the Miami Herald, duly pens a very favorable local story, Once derided, University of Miami basks in now-lofty status.

For all the USN rankings' lack of science, there is something real going on here. In fact, there are two sets of things.

Locally, “the U” has made enormous strides in the past decade — new faculty being hired in the departments are smart and industrious, SAT scores are way up, there is a great sense of optimism.

Equally significantly, the cash-poor state of Florida has been starving its public universities, and that as much as anything may account for their declining USN scores.

Indeed, the parlous condition of public higher education around the country is, I suppose, another argument for the legitimacy of private education if the private schools are better able to weather hard times: they keep us from eating all the seed corn. Of course, the counter-argument is that if elites had to send their children to the state system then they would take better care of it….

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