Monday, Nov. 7 -
The University of Missouri announced on Nov. 6 that the University would be joining the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2012.
Many know about the schools because of their football and basketball teams, but how many actually know about the academic prestige of the Universities in the SEC? When MU joins the SEC along with Texas A&M, the SEC will be composed of four Association of American Universities, which is a prestigious group of 61 universities. The University of Missouri, Texas A&M University, Vanderbilt University and University of Florida are all members. The U.S. News ranks Research Institutions on a yearly basis. The 2012 US News Ranking of Best Colleges http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities ranked the following SEC and soon to be SEC Universities:
University of Florida (58)
University of Georgia (62)
University of Kentucky (124)
University of Missouri (90)
University of South Carolina (111)
University of Tennessee (101)
Vanderbilt University (17)
Average US News Ranking: 80.4
University of Alabama (75)
University of Arkansas (132)
Louisiana State University (128)
Mississippi State University (157)
University of Mississippi (143)
Texas A&M University (58)
Average US News Ranking 110.7
SEC Combined Average
US News Ranking 95.6
MU is joining the SEC division with the higher average US News ranking: 80.4 vs. 110.7. MU will be joining a group of universities that are known throughout the country not only for their athletics, but also as a group of schools that have a high regard for academics. If MU is able to cement close ties with the faculty and staff at these universities, Mizzou will be able to do great things in terms of research and other academic pursuits.
“Research and academic programs continue, as you’re well aware of,” said MU Chanecellor Brady Deaton during his announcement on Nov. 6. “We are not making changes in alliances. Our faculty work with faculty around the world. Clearly, the quality of the institutions in the Southeastern Conference is another set of collaborative institutions. We would hope that as we work together and get to know each other it would simply expand the footprint that colleagues in all parts of the Southeastern Conference can work with colleagues here at the University of Missouri and build an even brighter future in that regard. This is nothing but a win-win in that regard, as far as I see it, for the Southeastern Conference and the University of Missouri.”
If MU creates true alliances with any of these great institutions, the benefits will reach professors, students and our community.
The move to the SEC also creates the potential to grow an already thriving alumni network in the Southern part of the country.
The table below shows approximate count of Mizzou Alumni living in various states http://www.mizzou.com/s/1002/index.aspx?sid=1002&gid=1&pgid=777 :
Having this many fans down in the Southeastern part of the country will help bring fans to the games. Cities like Atlanta, the site of the SEC Football Championship game, New Orleans, one of the sites of the SEC Basketball tournament, and Nashville, the site of many SEC events, could become a desired destination with Mizzou alumni.
- Benjamin A. Schoenkin