Oh, how quickly we forget.
The University of Calgary began dropping in the Maclean's university rankings in 1999, when we slipped from the top 10 to 12th place, finally reaching our current 14th in 2002. For this time, the U of C administration has held their position that Maclean's wasn't an accurate representation of reality at the U of C.
"Maclean's doesn't recognize the kinds of things that we think are important, it's a different value system," said former U of C Associate Vice-President Academic Dr. Jim Frideres in 1999. "Are [Maclean's] doing a service for the public? I doubt it. What they are interested in is selling magazines."
We're still 14th but the editor of Maclean's speculates we have potential to move up next year thanks to Alberta's booming economy. Instead of playing down the rankings as per usual, our administration is heralding them as a sign of good things to come and evidence of their hard work and sacrifice. This week, administration's VP External Roman Cooney is even abandoning his foxhole to take Maclean's once ignorable survey seriously. This is quite a departure from 1999.
The Alberta government has yet to commit to post-secondary funding in any meaningful way, so what is administration basing their optimism on?
With a few kind words, Maclean's has gone from easily dismissable to the U of C's best friend.