Ivy League University Dumps the Dean's List, and the Reason Is a Real Head-Scratcher

Douglas Healey
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If you’re attending the University of Pennsylvania and busting your hump to score a 3.7 GPA, don’t do it for the glory of school recognition.


The March 28th issue of the UPenn Almanac announces a dumping of the Dean’s List. Per the Interim Provost and Vice Provost for Education:

“Effective July 1, 2023, the University of Pennsylvania will cease awarding Dean’s List to undergraduate students. This decision is the culmination of extensive consultations over several years across the Penn community, including with undergraduate student leaders…”

Why whack it? Reportedly, there’s a “shared belief that a Dean’s List designation does not reflect the breadth and evolution of students’ academic achievements over the course of their education at Penn.”

That’s an interesting explanation, since the point of the List has never been to “reflect the breath and evolution of students’ academic achievements” across their college careers. Its purpose, of course, is to acknowledge those who have worked hard during the semester at hand.

Regardless, earned rewards have increasingly lost favor among those invested in equity. Thanks to social-justice enlightenment, society is in mid-transformation:

College Schools Students and Staff on Microaggressions’ ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’ and the ‘Myth of Meritocracy’

Oregon Equity and Inclusion Agency Postpones Meeting Because ‘Urgency’ Is White Supremacy

Stanford’s New Research Lab Calls out Ostensible Meritocracy

In Order to Attack ‘Systemic Racism,’ a School Eliminates Failure and Time Constraints

To Root Out Racism, Elite High School for Science and Technology Ends Merit-Based Admissions


Excellence in Equity: California Eyes Obliterating ‘Bias’ by Getting Rid of Grades

Universities appear to have undertaken an all-new mission, and it isn’t academically-oriented. In 2021, for instance, the president of Portland State University proclaimed the institution’s upgraded purpose:

“My highest priority is sustaining and amplifying our commitment to racial justice. … It is imperative that we collectively engage in conversations that support transformation and act to deliver on our desired future, recognizing that the work will be different based on our positionalities and identities.”

As for work in general, it seems to have lost substantial luster. A recent Wall Street Journal poll revealed that only 61 percent of young adults consider hard work “very important.” That’s a might less than the 75 percent score among Americans 65 and older.

At the same time, 43 percent of Americans now consider money “very important” — compared to 31 percent in 1998.

There’s a sense to the shift — a new generation looks forward to free funds:


Back to the University of Pennsylvania, Undergraduate Assembly Speaker Xavier Shankle hopes putting an end to the Dean’s List will reduce stress on attendees.

From The Daily Pennsylvanian:

[S]hankle said that the removal of the Dean’s List…serves as an indication that Penn is “consciously thinking” about how to reduce academic stress for students. “Whether or not removing (the) Dean’s List is the best way to remove or reduce academic stress,” he continued, “is something still to be determined.”

As for the wisdom of all such de-emphases on achievement, in a near-future America, determined it certainly will be.



See more content from me:

State University Tells Students It’s Wrong to Say ‘Female’ or ‘America’

NYC Teachers Union Trains Educators in ‘Resistance Against the Harmful Effects of Whiteness’

Potpourri in Our Pants: University Hosts a ‘Genital Diversity Gallery’

Find all my RedState work here.

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