Big Women on Campus

Guess what problem is giving college administrators nightmares this admissions season? No, it’s not frat hazing, binge drinking or the out-of-control cost of tuition. What really scares higher educators right now, according to a New York Times survey, is the increasing presence of women on campus.

Females now outnumber males by about 60/40 at many schools, from NYU to the University of North Carolina to UC Santa Cruz. Some have responded in panic: Baylor has revamped its catalog. Deeming the former cover photo of the library “too feminine,” they’ve shifted to a picture of the quadrangle.

We hate to break it to them, but guys who spend more time hanging out in the quad than in the ‘brary are likely to flunk out anyway. Besides, where were all these nervous Nelsons during the many years the ratio ran the other way?

Says Catharine Stimpson, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at NYU, where they’ve taken the trend in stride: “Some people still believe that if you’re a women’s institution, you’re a lesser institution.”

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