Conscience U

May 5, 2005

The University of Colorado has a love-hate relationship with the Princeton Review, the publishing outfit that has ranked CU as a first-rate party school and a second-tier academic institution. Well, perhaps "love-hate" is too strong; the relationship is more of the "like-hate" variety.

This week, CU seems to like the Princeton Review. That's because a new ranking names the university as one of 81 "colleges with a conscience." The rating was based on campus surveys, but included the input of Campus Compact, a group of college presidents that promotes civic responsibility.

Last year, when CU was named the nation's No. 1 party school, the university assailed the ranking as unscientific. This year, the university is embracing the findings. And, in fairness, the criteria for the good-school ranking appear more substantive.

CU won recognition rather than ignominy this year because of its student activism, support for service-learning programs and scholarships rewarding community service.

In recent years, CU leaders have seemingly worked extra hard to give the institution a black eye. They have been roundly and rightly lambasted for that. But that sound and fury never changed a fundamental fact: Many of the school's students and professors are, basically, good eggs.

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