A few years back, some Cornellians “banded together to form an “image committee,” making it their mission to press the university into marketing and branding itself more aggressively, and to help it climb higher in college rankings.” As Gawker put it, “it would seem to us that the first part of getting yourself perceived as one of the cool kids – as a big front-of-Metro takeout in Saturday’s Times explained a crew of Cornell kids is trying to do – would be to not have big front-of-Metro takeouts on how damn hard you’re trying to become one of the cool kids.” Take that as you will.
On to the relevant stuff. From “Cornell’s Worried Image Makers Wrap Themselves in Ivy” :
… when committee members first approached administrators to talk about their concerns – including what they saw as the university’s passive response to a slight drop in some ranking guides – they met with resistance. That changed three years ago, they said, with the arrival of a new president, Jeffrey S. Lehman, and the subsequent appointment of [Thomas W. Bruce, vice president for university communications], who took their critique seriously, particularly their thoughts about the so-called view book for potential applicants and about the Web site.
Nice to see credit where it’s due.