This might interest those of you who think that the "standard" rankings of universities leaves something to be desired. The Washington Monthly has just published their second ranking of universities and UW ranks 15 among the national universities (for comparison Harvard is 28!). The following is a quote from the article:
"What are reasonable indicators of how much a school is benefiting the country? We came up with three: how well it performs as an engine of social mobility (ideally helping the poor to get rich rather than the very rich to get very, very rich), how well it does in fostering scientific and humanistic research, and how well it promotes an ethic of service to country. We then devised a way to measure and quantify these criteria (See "A Note on Methodology"). Finally, we placed the schools into rankings. Rankings, we admit, are never perfect, but they're also indispensable."
You can find the rankings here and the complete guide with a link to the methodology here. For those of you who would like a digested version of the methodology the guide led to this article in the Washington Post.