Schapiro answers student questions during Southwest dinner, Q&A

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Schapiro answers student questions during Southwest dinner, Q&A

Schapiro joined students and faculty in conversations about ranking, admission applications and University official replacements at this Tuesday’s dinner and question-and-answer session.

Schapiro joined students and faculty in conversations about ranking, admission applications and University official replacements at this Tuesday’s dinner and question-and-answer session.

Photo by Owen Stidman

Schapiro joined students and faculty in conversations about ranking, admission applications and University official replacements at this Tuesday’s dinner and question-and-answer session.

Photo by Owen Stidman

Photo by Owen Stidman

Schapiro joined students and faculty in conversations about ranking, admission applications and University official replacements at this Tuesday’s dinner and question-and-answer session.

Yunkyo Kim, Assistant Campus Editor

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University President Morton Schapiro addressed student concerns at the Southwest area dinner, which was followed by a question-and-answer session held in Willard Residential Hall on Tuesday evening.

Schapiro joined students, Southwest area’s faculty-in-residence Ben Gorvine and Willard’s faculty chair Gary Saul Morson in conversations about rankings, admissions applications and turnover among University officials.

Responding to a student’s question on his plan for increasing Northwestern’s ranking on U.S. News & World Report, he said the University has the potential to climb the list, and rank among the likes of Stanford University, University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania.

Still, he added, the ranking process is not objective, due to some universities’ tendencies to manipulate data to appear more competitive and desired. Northwestern does not engage in these practices, he said.

“We don’t fudge, but the other schools fudge, and the whole thing is comparative, and it’s misleading the public,” Schapiro said.

Schapiro also said the number of applications to the University this year dropped by 3.2 percent. However, he said other top-ranking universities including Dartmouth College and Princeton University dropped by a larger percentage.

When discussing replacements for Provost Jonathan Holloway and chief diversity officer Jabbar Bennett, Schapiro did not elaborate but said the search process was underway and he was excited to see the outcome.

Emma Sollenberger, a Weinberg sophomore who attended the dinner, said she appreciated that the president was willing to listen to students’ problems in such an informal manner.

“A lot of students were able to bring up concerns they had with the University,” Sollenberger said. “It was nice to see someone so high up in the faculty listen to us.”

Sollenberger, who is a non-voting member of Willard’s executive board, said she wasn’t sure if such talks would lead to change but it felt productive to have Schapiro’s support on issues regarding student life.

Weinberg freshman Grace McDonnell said she felt welcomed to the event, as Schapiro made sure to talk to every student present.

“I am one of a thousand (Weinberg) students and yet he took the time to sit down at the table and talk to me,” McDonnell said. “People who have concerns, he actually does take seriously.”

McDonnell said conversations at the dinner revolved around Allison Hall’s renovation and the dining switch to new vendor Compass Group North America.

When a student asked at the Q&A session if Northwestern students should have a more rigorous course load, Schapiro said students already had enough. He said the quarter system, added with Northwestern’s academic culture, created a competitive atmosphere.

“I’ve never seen a place with a more intellectual and academic passion as Northwestern,” Schapiro said. “Have you?”

Email: yunkyokim2022@u.northwestern.edu

Twitter: @yunkyomoonk

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