Friday, February 29, 2008

Not Everyone is Clamoring to Become a Nittany Weasel

One of Graham's favorite talking points is that Penn State is the most popular school in the country. He even tells us that,"The demand to come here is off the charts." I took these claims apart at the beginning of the month. When you look at the percentage of accepted students that choose to attend Penn State (UP), the yield rate, which is a better measure of popularity than is the number of applicants, Penn State isn't number one. And, in fact, Penn State (UP) isn't even number one when measured in terms of the number of applicants.

I only compared Penn State to Berkeley and Ohio State, because to debunk the claim of a top ranking it was sufficient to show that there is at least one school more highly ranked than Penn State. Today in the Collegian, we get a fuller picture of the popularity of Penn State. Penn State ranks 38th in yield rate in the nation. That hardly sounds like people are clamoring to get in here.

The reporter, Alex Weisler, doesn't get a reaction from Graham on the is ranking, but he does talk to Anne Rohrbach, Penn State executive director of undergraduate admissions who is rather dismissive of the report.
"It seems like another survey-of-the-month," she said. "I think it's interesting, but there's a lot of pieces of information that it doesn't tell us."
This is a fairly typical response to any report which doesn't fit Old Main's marketing strategy. Downplay its importance. I wonder what Ms. Rohrbach thinks of Graham pimping the "most popular" meme. Would she be as dismissive of it as she is of this report?

The primary message to take away from this is that Graham uses information in an intellectual dishonest way to push his agenda. To do this he has to control the flow of information. As this report on yield rates demonstrates, this isn't always possible.

There is no better example of his efforts to control information flow than his vociferous opposition to the attempt to extend Pennsylvania's Right-To-Know law to the University and his collusion with Jake Corman (R-Old Main) to gut the law. Had the law fully applied to the University his job as chief propagandist, or shall we say spaniergandist, would have been made much more difficult or even impossible.

Throw Jake Corman out of office.

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