EMU earns top ranking for academic stewardship

Eastern Mennonite University landed in the top rankings of AcademicInfluence.com’s 2022 Best Colleges and Universities by Academic Stewardship.

EMU ranked 34th out of the 50 universities and colleges to make the list – “a group of unexpected but highly influential colleges that are truly preparing their students for the future by offering them transformational supports and strong pathways to careers,” according to their website.

The Academic Stewardship metric gauges how wisely schools are stewarding their resources. The results spotlight institutions that, given their size and resources, have faculty and alumni making outsized positive impacts.

“It’s refreshing to see a ranking methodology that is not heavily influenced by financial resources and renown,” said Scott Barge, EMU’s Vice President for Institutional Strategy. “The Academic Stewardship ranking offers a way of looking at the data that attempts to capture the nuances of the educational enterprise and the powerful experiences that smaller institutions can offer – even those institutions that don’t have massive endowments or outsized reputations.” 

AcademicInfluence.com is a group of higher education and technology influencers with the goal of providing an objective, non-gameable, influence-based ranking. They were inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s 2021 critique of the higher education rankings organizations and how they overlook less-resourced colleges and universities who are nevertheless helping to transform the lives of their students. (Listen to the collected podcasts here.)

Some of the benefits of attending a school with strong academic stewardship, according to academicinfluence.com, include

  • The student and his/her education as the main mission of the university.  
  • Valuing of character over prestige and self-indulgence
  • A focus on development, helping students to be their best rather than being the best university.