Volume 96, Issue 59
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

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Manitoba to battle Maclean's ranking

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

The University of Manitoba is looking at ways to improve their standings in the annual university rankings by Maclean's magazine.

According to John Danakas, director of public affairs for the University of Manitoba, a president's committee was formed to look at the implications of the recent rankings issued by Maclean's, which placed the university at 15th in the category of medical-doctoral institutions. Danakas said the report is in its early stages and was presented to U of M's Senate last Wednesday.

"There has been concern about the rankings," Danakas said.

"This is the first time that a president's committee has been called," he added, noting the university will do what it can to raise awareness of its excellence nationally.

"From our data, it's actually the regional people that are giving the University of Manitoba the worst marks," said Ann Dowsett-Johnston, editor of Maclean's annual university rankings. "Nationally, they have pretty good marks."

The report presented to the Senate by the president's committee recommended that the university develop a multi-year plan to counter the negative image projected by the Maclean's rankings, Danakas said, while noting the plan of action has yet to be determined.

Dowsett-Johnston said she applauds U of M for what they are attempting to do in addressing their image, but is surprised they are doing it simply in response to the magazine's rankings.

Western does not have an extensive advertising and promotional campaign, said VP-external Ted Garrard, noting the university does place some advertisements in newspapers, magazines, bus shelters and elevators.

"It's a broad-based program to help in recruiting students and building a reputation externally," Garrard said, noting the university's advertising does not relate to the Maclean's rankings or compare Western to other schools.

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2002 THE GAZETTE