Core Competency

The November 13th hard-copy edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education includes a full-page, two-sided, construction-paper-quality insert highlighting the rankings of the University of Florida on six dimensions, including Innovation Impact (#1), Best Public University (#6), and Best Value in Public Colleges (#2).

That’s all well and good for the Gators, but what can a school do if it doesn’t fare well on the dimensions that are typically ranked by sources such as U.S. News & World Report?  

Well, hello, McKinsey & Company!  The New-York based consulting behemoth has stepped into the breach.  For a flat fee of $75,000, it will track down a publication that has given your college or university a high rating on a dimension that can be used in advertising and recruiting.  Here is what they’ve come up with for a few of their recent clients:

—  Mississippi State University:  3rd-lowest rate of gonorrhea among undergraduates in the Southeastern Conference (STD Annual Review)

—  University of Tulsa:  The only school in Oklahoma where over 30% of graduating seniors know the difference between it’s and its (Writers’ Quarterly)

—  Gettysburg College:  Offers more flavors of Ben & Jerry’s at the Campus Creamery than any other school in Pennsylvania (Lick Monthly)

—  DePaul University:  Ranked #4 in percentage of deceased alumni who enter the Catholic section of heaven without a forced layover in Purgatory; ranked #6 in percentage of undergraduates whose prayers to God for assistance during final exams are answered directly by a member of the Holy Trinity rather than a low-ranking angel (Vatican Daily)

—  Oberlin College:  Ranked #5 in percentage of philosophy majors who can distinguish between post-modernism, Post Raisin Bran, and the U.S. Postal Service (Foucault Institute Journal)

—  Yale University:  Ranked #1 in “Harvard Envy” among top-tier institutions in the Northeast (Center of the Universe Digest)

NOTE:  McKinsey will refund, with interest, your $5000 deposit if it fails to find, within 30 days, a publication that ranks your school #5 or higher on something.  Seriously, can your institution afford to pass up an offer like this?