UTEP President Makes Case for New College Rankings

The University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio joined with other leaders in higher education during a panel discussion Sept. 4 as part of Washington Monthly’s “Higher Education’s New Caste System” event at the New America Foundation office in Washington, D.C.

Last week, Washington Monthly released its 2013 College Rankings, which named UTEP as the #7 university in the nation behind Stanford University and ahead of Harvard University. For the second year in a row, UTEP ranked #1 in the social mobility category, which the publication describes as recruiting and graduating students of modest means, and is a measure of how well “the school performs as an engine of social mobility.”
 
In addition to social mobility, universities were ranked based on research and service to the community.

“Achieving both affordability and high quality in a low-resource setting such as the U.S.-Mexico border region requires a deep commitment by all faculty and staff to ensure that students who entrust us with their aspirations are given every opportunity not only to pursue them, but to participate in enriched educational experiences on our campus that will prepare them to compete successfully with their peers from across the globe,” President Natalicio said of the ranking. “As we celebrate UTEP’s Centennial next year, we’re looking forward to continuing to serve as a model and catalyst for change in public higher education in the 21st century.”

President Natalicio, who recently marked her 25th anniversary as the president of UTEP, is chair of the American Council on Education. She was the only university president on Wednesday's panel.
 
Other panelists included James Kvaal, deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Jamaal Abdul-Alim, journalist and Spencer Education Journalism Fellow at Columbia University; and Kevin Carey, director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation. Washington Monthly Editor-in-Chief Paul Glastris served as the panel moderator and Jamie Merisotis, president and chief operating officer of the Lumina Foundation, delivered the opening remarks.