I recently learned that Mount Holyoke College dropped its natural science w/ lab requirement--quietly--for the class of 2017. I'm not sure if they have done this for everyone but they did drop at least half of the distribution requirements for the class of 2017, maybe even 2016. Initially, I struggled to make sense of this, but then Colin Diver's words came to me: "By far the most important consequence of sitting out the rankings game, however, is the freedom to pursue our own educational philosophy, not that of some newsmagazine." It seems that Mount Holyoke's decision to drop those distribution requirements, particularly the science requirement, was out of a need to improve the graduation rate, which is a component of the rankings. Isn't this just sad? Isn't Colin Diver right? Is this why institutions moved towards open curricula (i.e making the students happy at the expense of pursuing the institution's academic philosophy)? When did Grinnell, Vassar and Hamilton move towards open curricula?
PS Out of curiosity, does anyone know where Reed was ranked in the years 1989-1995?