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Letter from Chancellor Robinson – U.S. News Rankings

Dear Ram Family,

Next week, U.S. News & World Report will release its 2019 college rankings. You will undoubtedly see many universities touting their place on the list. Winston-Salem State University will not be. But not for the reason you think.

For the past several years, WSSU has declined to fill out the annual peer evaluations and statistical surveys that U.S. News uses to compile its rankings. We have done so deliberately. We believe the rankings do not measure the metrics we feel are important: the number of low-income students admitted and graduated, the low cost of tuition, and the high employment outcomes after graduation.

At WSSU, we are proud that we rate number one in the University of North Carolina System for students having jobs in North Carolina after graduation. We are proud that our health sciences graduates pass their licensure exams at rates far above the national average. We are proud that our students graduate at the highest rate of any of the minority-serving schools in the UNC System. And we are proud to have appeared in the Top 20 in the nation for four years on the Social Mobility Index (SMI), which evaluates how we are fulfilling our goal of helping students succeed in life while having a positive and long-lasting economic impact on our state and nation.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings feed the myth that the most selective schools and the schools who spend the most money are superior to schools like WSSU, which place priority on access and affordability. These rankings require focus in areas that are antithetical to our historical mission. You will note that we highlight rankings that evaluate the quality of our academic programs, the value we provide to our students, the outcomes of our graduates, or our commitment to student success. Our emphasis has been and will continue to be on offering an educational experience that provides students with the essential skills they need to be successful in our ever-changing global world while simultaneously making an impact on the economic lives of families across this state.

Sincerely,

Elwood L. Robinson, Ph.D.

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