212 The History of Wake Forest
Academics
U.S. News & World Report ranked
Wake Forest thirty-first in its 1996
list of the best national universities.
It ranked the Calloway School of
Business and Accountancy twenty-
fifth nationally among undergradu-
ate business programs, while Money
magazine ranked Wake Forest
twenty-fifth in its annual list of best
college buys.
The President informed the
Trustees that the Southern Asso-
ciation of Colleges and Schools
(SACS) was beginning Wake Forest’s
reaccreditation process, with Ellen
Kirkman (Mathematics) and Ross
Griffith (Institutional Research) co-
chairing the effort. A review team
led by Rich Morrill, President of
the University of Richmond, would
evaluate Wake Forest programs and
make a site visit in spring 1997.
Dean Escott raised questions about undergraduate education, two of which cre-
ated some controversy. In a letter to the faculty, he expressed his concern about stu-
dents’ high grades and reminded them what each grade meant. He also noted that the
percentage of students graduating with honors was increasing faster than the quality
of the student body seemed to warrant; 70 percent of the senior class was projected
to graduate with honors. Students were upset when some faculty interpreted Escott’s
letter as policy to give fewer high grades. To clear the air, Escott and Psychology Pro-
fessor Deborah Best (’70, MA ’72) held a forum with students. Although no conclu-
sions were reached, the ideas of raising the requirement for honors and implementing
a system of pluses and minuses were discussed.
In another academic debate, the Dean proposed that more classes be offered
at 8 a.m. to help students meet their requirements. He said that 92 percent of
classes were offered between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and that more classes at an earlier
hour would alleviate some scheduling problems. In the spring semester of 1996,
fifty-nine classes were offered at 8 a.m., fifteen more than in spring 1995, and 858
students enrolled in them compared to 645 students the year earlier, an increase
of 33 percent.
In September 1995, a Commission on the Status of Women at Wake Forest,
chaired by Lu Leake, was created by Provost Brown and asked “to examine the exist-
ing climate and conditions for women students, staff, and faculty at Wake Forest.”
Specifically, it was charged to:
The 1996 men’s basketball team worked well
together
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