Portland State: U.S. News Giveth, Then Taketh Away

When U.S. News and World Report announced its annual college rankings recently, Portland State University was on the list as one of the top-10 electrical engineering schools in the United States. Students and faculty were ecstatic, for a couple of days anyway. That's the length of time it took for the magazine to realize that a computer glitch had incorrectly ranked the Portland State program in the top 10 instead of 126th, its actual rank.

U.S. News caught the mistake, according to U.S News officials, when the University of Texas at Austin called to report its ranking (No. 10) had been incorrectly replaced by the University of Texas at Arlington. PSU, it turns out, had taken Carnegie Mellon's spot at No. 9.

Such errors occur "very infrequently," a U.S. News official said. "We're deeply sorry for this."

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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