OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi has been named “most appealing” college in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
In an article examining “Are Colleges Worth the Price of Admission?” authors Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus placed Ole Miss at the top of their list of 11 colleges they think are doing their job well. The duo, who has spent several years researching challenges in higher education, wrote that of all the flagship colleges they have visited, they found Ole Miss “the most appealing.”
“This sentence certainly got my attention, and not just because I know it to be a true statement,” said UM Chancellor Dan Jones. “These respected authors spent several years visiting colleges and universities, including MIT, Notre Dame, Arizona State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and others. But they found Ole Miss the most appealing.”
The article is adapted from Hacker and Dreifus’ book, “Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids – and What We Can Do About It,” which is being published Aug. 3 by Henry Holt/Times Books.
“Ole Miss is a university where reconciliation and civility are at the heart of the educational mission,” the authors write. “Much of the transformation has been the work of Robert Khayat, who retired from the chancellorship in 2009. In his 14 years there, he raised academic standards, tripled African-American enrollment and banned Confederate flags from athletic events.”
Hacker and Dreifus also praised UM for its Center for the Study of Southern Culture, which focuses on the art, literature, music and food of the region – black and white – and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.
“Our faculty has worked to create a unique atmosphere for learning,” Jones said. “The authors relayed to me in a personal conversation how impressed they were with our students, and that student learning is the main priority of our university.”
Other university administrators and staff expressed their appreciation for the acknowledgment.
“We are pleased that the authors recognize that an education at the University of Mississippi is a worthwhile investment,” said Morris Stocks, provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs. “We are committed to transforming the mind through academic engagement.”
Ted Ownby, director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, said he especially appreciates the notice for the center’s projects, including Living Blues magazine, the Blues Today Symposium, the Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference, Conference for the Book and the Southern Foodways Alliance.
“The faculty members I know do a great job of connecting their research to their teaching,” Ownby said. “We appreciate the attention.”
The article’s accolades for the Honors College state that it “offers an education as one might find at Carleton or Kenyon Colleges.”
“The authors honor us with their praise, and we are grateful,” said Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez, Honors College dean. “Our many professors who give of their time and research to make opportunities happen for our honors students deserve all the credit here.”
Listed below Ole Miss on the authors’ listing are Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey, the University of Notre Dame, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Berea College, Arizona State University, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, University of Colorado at Boulder, MIT, Western Oregon University and Evergreen State College in Washington.
To read the full Hacker-Dreifus article, see the July 11 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education or visit