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Lafalum

Bucknell

This is Bucknell week in football and it got me to thinking what a great  job their BOT has done over the years for the school. They have a very nice and successful athletic program, they are in the sweet spot as to size (3-5k). They have a vibrant greek life, and they hire up in their presidents. Looking at personnel from schools larger than themselves with a broader background. Not a bad template to emulate.
It does however seem to be a template followed by other PL schools except us and Holy Cross both of which can't seem to get it right. I wish I had a magic wand to get rid of the leadership on our BOT and start over from 30 years ago. We have blown it academically, socially,and athletically. Why in God's name do we try to reinforce an image that only 5 % of the current high school students are attracted to??
Pard4Life

Yes, Bucknell has done well. With regard the vaunted USNWR rankings, they were ahead of us recently, but I think we are on par with them.

Yes, we've blown it athletically.  Yes, we've blown it socially.  Academically? Hm, not so sure.  It's not great that we really seem to have put emphasis and capital into theatre and film studies, but I think the school has done well in certain academic areas.  Global studies and neuroscience have been bolstered, for one.  Policy studies were a great addition. Sciences and engineering seem strong (despite the controversy two years ago - I just don't simply know enough about it.  We have also become more selective and applications have increased by over 1100 students.

It would be great if we plucked more admins and presidents from schools like Stanford etc.  (hey Weiss was from Hopkins after all and his runner-up was from Gtown).  But, jury is still out on Bryerly.  She seems to be engaged and in the game.  Plus, she spoke about bolstering the college's visibility and general awareness.  I can't recall if a President directly addressed that issue before.
Lafalum

I agree Byerly still seems to be an unknown. I like her recent hires. And I understand from the grapevine she is triming administrators.., at a cost (thanks  to Dan). Her credibility is on the table with the Chi Phi application. Three semesters of losings athletic teams and not one team having a winning season might point for the need for a  change somewhere. Not even looking for PL championships... a year and half of losing teams.

As to academics, in my neighborhood my HS neighbors regard Bucknell higher than us. Yes we have more apps lately ( very good effort by our admissions office that improves the denominator) but Yield ( people who come after being accepted) and Acceptance Rate, those accepted out of total apps is reversed. Our yield is 28 pct vs an acceptance rate of about 34 pct. Bucknell's I believe is reversed. Neurosciece is probably our biggest and newest success story. ( Thanks to Walter Oeschle). Global studies is again a work in process. ( Thanks again to Walter).

But I honestly think our BOT was been poorly led these last 30 years and we need a change at the top... and soon!!
BackintheDay

good discusion.  My posts have mostly been about the bad, but there has been good as well.  The Neuroscience and Global Studies have been great adds, thanks to Oeschle. I, too, have heard HS parents raving about Bucknell, plus parents have decided also that Lehigh is a great place for U/Gs, not just Grad Students.  So LC's rank in the PL has dropped, and even more so when you see how athletics/social life has dropped off while improving at BU/LU.  So LC has its challenges.  I've never been a big fan of the number of apps statistic.  One way to read that is more kids apply to LC as a safety school in case they don't get higher choices in the PL, Ivy or elsehwere.  Yield is the meaningful stat.  As for Byerly, to her credit, she has not followed the Weiss model.  She is approachable and sincere with all alumni, not just big donors. She must act on Chi Phi and forthcoming other re-instatements to show she is committed to her statements.  She wants Student Govt in on process, which may be good.  She's only been here a year, and she's trying to get rid of the old problems and move in to new territory that is hers.  She deserves some time.  As for the BOT, let's hope she can persuade them.
bison137

Lafalum wrote:
I agOur yield is 28 pct vs an acceptance rate of about 34 pct. Bucknell's I believe is reversed.



Bucknell's acceptance rate for the most recent class was about 29% and yield was about 40%.   One wild card is that Bucknell just got rid of a school-specific essay that had been part of their app for years.  As a pure guess, I think that will improve the acceptance rate - since it will now be a lot easier to apply - but it will likely hurt the yield since a lower pct of those applying will have Bucknell as a top choice.  We shall see.
ed65

"Why in God's name do we try to reinforce an image that only 5 % of the current high school students are attracted to??"

Now that is a very good question.  Every time I hear LC described as a "small liberal arts" college, I cringe.  It is like scratching finger nails on a blackboard.
Pard4Life

Yeah. Say liberal arts and I think Sarah Lawrence, Skidmore, or Haverford.

LC of course has a liberal arts curriculum but we do not purely follow the liberal arts mold.
Lafalum

Pard4Life wrote:
Yeah. Say liberal arts and I think Sarah Lawrence, Skidmore, or Haverford.

LC of course has a liberal arts curriculum but we do not purely follow the liberal arts mold.


With nearly 50% of our students enrolled in engineering or stem courses we definitely are not in the mold. But some elements keep trying to force us there. I have heard at least one faculty member argue we should drop engineering because we are " a small liberal arts college." Outsiders do have a hard time between the moniker and the reality.

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