by Wes Wolfe
There’s not much of a payoff when it comes to sticking up for any sort of education, including higher education, in South Carolina. Of our political fields of battle, it’s one of the most commonly trod. But, there is good news, believe it or not. You may have heard earlier this week that USC’s Darla Moore School of Business was ranked No. 1 in the nation for the 15th consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report for international business undergraduate programs. Clemson claimed the No. 4 spot among “up-and-coming” universities, and Claflin placed No. 8 in historically black colleges and universities.
Carolina’s ranking isn’t just something nice to tack on the bulletin board. It shows that we have an important resource for economic prosperity right here. What is done with that potential can be debated, but it’s there. If the Gamecock football team finished in the top 10 every year for 15 years — much less No. 1 — the university, city and the state would be seeing significant returns on investment into the program. If we’re generating the best and the brightest undergrads in international business, let’s double-down on bringing that business here.
Clemson’s ranking was determined by academic leaders in higher education, in a list U.S. News describes as comprised of schools, “that are making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, and student life.” A number of schools in the list — No. 1 UMD-Baltimore County, No. 2 George Mason — are universities moving up from the “commuter school” ghetto. There are less obvious motivating factors for established schools like Clemson and other up-and-comers like Ohio State and Arizona State to make the same efforts. That’s all the more reason to celebrate that Clemson officials are taking steps to reach a higher standard.
And Claflin, the small Orangeburg private college, gets the attention not usually given to the school. You can likely name the top six HBCUs off the top of your head: Spelman, Howard, Morehouse, Hampton, Fisk and Tuskegee. Xavier University of Louisiana tied with Tuskegee and Fisk for fifth, with Claflin coming in next. That’s no small accomplishment. And it takes nothing away from Orangeburg neighbor S.C. State, which made its mark with a No. 15 ranking among HBCUs.
So, what do y’all think? Are these rankings a legitimate view of what appears to be the great potential of South Carolinians, or an indicator of something different?
Cromer Law Offices, LLC is proud to have guest blogger Wes Wolfe this week. He’s written for 11 publications in five states, and is the proprietor of The Five Points Flood.