New rankings that academics love to hate

usn_logoU.S. News & World Report released its annual ranking of U.S. graduate schools in its May issue. The annual rankings are the bane of college deans and presidents. They almost universally revile them, but they can’t resist them either. And, like it or not, students consider them when applying for programs.

Here is how graduate programs at Catholic colleges and universities fared:

Catholic law schools make out like bandits. In the top 100 listed, Georgetown comes in at No. 14, followed by Notre Dame at 23; Boston College at 26; Fordham at 40; the University of San Diego and Villanova tied at 61; Loyola Marymount at 71; Seattle and Seton Hall tied at 77; Santa Clara at 85; De Paul, Loyola Chicago, Marquette and St. John’s sharing the 87 spot; The Catholic University of America and St. Louis tied at 94; San Francisco at 98; and Gonzaga at 100.

The magazine this year looks at law school diversity. Notable on the list is St. Thomas in Florida with a 33 percent Hispanic student body. Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount and San Francisco — all in California — have student bodies that are, respectively, 28, 24 and 18 percent Asian-American. St. Mary’s in Texas is 26 percent Hispanic.

Catholic business schools have three in the top 50. Georgetown’s McDonough ranks 19th, Notre Dame’s Mendoza come in at 33 and the Carroll School of Boston College ranks 44th.

There are only a handful of Catholic medical schools in the United States Only Georgetown ranked this year in the top 50 research university medical schools, coming in at 39. No Catholic medical school ranked in the top 50 for primary-care training.

In other areas of graduate education, Boston College ranked No. 19 in the top 25 education schools and Georgetown made No. 14 on schools of public affairs.

U.S. News & World Report uses an elaborate methodology for rankings, and those criteria change every year. Check out its Web site for an explanation and a complete listing of all ranked programs.

Oblate priest in Sri Lanka not heard from since May 14

This photograph released by the Sri Lankan military May 15 shows what the army says are civilians fleeing from the area inside a no-fire zone held by Tamil separatists. (CNS photo/Sri Lankan Government, Reuters)

This photograph released by the Sri Lankan military May 15 shows what the army says are civilians fleeing from the area inside a no-fire zone held by Tamil separatists. (CNS photo/Sri Lankan Government, Reuters)

The U.S. director of the Missonary Oblates’ justice, peace and integrity of creation program is concerned about the safety of one of the order’s priests in the war zone of northern Sri Lanka.

Washington-based Father Seamus Finn told Catholic News Service May 18 that Father Saviripillai Edmund Reginald has not been heard from since May 14. Father Reginald was the subject of a May 13 CNS report on the civilian victims in the war between Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lankan officials have declared victory in wiping out the last remnants of the rebel forces, which have fought a 25-year war for independence and human rights.

Father Finn said a representative of the order in Rome was trying to make his way from the capital of Colombo northward. But his status also is unknown. Cell phone access is limited in the northern part of the island nation off the southeast coast of India.

The BBC has reported that civilians are being allowed to leave the war zone, but only after being screened carefully to make sure none of the rebels escape.

Father Finn said the order has provided names of its missionaries in the war zone to the U.S. State Department in an effort to learn the whereabouts of all of its members.

Meanwhile, as the fighting ends, the European Union has called for an independent investigation into some of the tactics used by the Sri Lanka armed forces.

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