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“It’s always gratifying to have things that you know internally confirmed by a very complex and data-rich process,” Brandt said. “What does the NRC report confirm for me? It confirms that we have an exceptional faculty and we’re attracting great students.”

The analysis offers departments an opportunity to evaluate strengths and weaknesses against performances nationwide.

Brandt said it was too early to discuss changes that might arise from the report’s data, but he has already begun discussing the results with individual departments.

Timothy J. Colton, chair of the Government Department, emphasized that despite the strong showing—the department’s doctoral program was ranked number one—there was more work to be done.

“You have to pedal heard to keep your place in the line of riders,” he said. “There are no grounds for complacency.”


—Staff writer Noah S. Rayman can be reached at