Dillard Notables of 2021: #2 Malcolm Gladwell
Wednesday, January 13, 2021. I received an e-mail that began like this:
My name is Malcolm Gladwell. I’m a writer in New York. I do the Revisionist History podcast. I’m wondering if I might run an idea by you.
I’m thinking, “Dude! I know who you are! LOL” What a cool way to begin 2021. We had a series of e-mails followed by a video conference interview. I really enjoyed getting to know Malcolm after reading his work for years. I think he enjoyed it too, and he proposed coming to visit Dillard.
We choose April 22nd. My birthday.
For about an hour, he engaged a group of students about their experience at Dillard, challenges they see with higher education, etc. I sent out an e-mail to students to see who would be excited about meeting Malcolm Gladwell, and this group was super excited.
Members of my team were excited too, so it made for an interesting day.
In July, the new episodes of “Revisionist History” dropped. There ended up being two related to Dillard. The first was a broader critique of the US News College rankings. You can listen to the episode here:
Lord of the Rankings
For 30 years, US News & World Report has been using a secret formula to rank the best colleges and universities in the…
The next episode was all about Dillard University, so much it was called, “Project Dillard.” You can listen here:
A historically Black university in New Orleans is beloved by everyone - except the US News best colleges rankings. We…
The podcast is already popular, and it provided exposure for Dillard that we could not have dreamed of, especially to people and organizations that had never heard of us. Here is a sampling of media around the episode:
On 'Revisionist History,' Malcolm Gladwell Unfiltered
On the new season of his podcast, the best-selling author and provocateur jousts with U.S. News & World Report and "The…
Malcolm Gladwell Podcast "Revisionist History" Focuses on HBCU Dillard Univ.; Exposes Hypocrisy of…
Breaking through the mythology of what makes or breaks an academic ranking, renowned journalist and author Malcolm…
Dillard President Dr. Kimbrough Discusses Flawed College Rankings With Acclaimed Writer Malcolm…
Just how much do college rankings like that of U.S. News & World Reports matter? Recently, writer Malcolm Gladwell and…
And the podcast generated broader discussions about rankings, not just of HBCUs, but for all of higher education.
The Ominous Cracks in the US News College Ranking System
By Chris Lydgate '90 | For more than three decades, US News has loomed over the landscape of higher education like the…
Malcolm Gladwell's "Revisionist History" Podcast and the College Rankings Racket
BY TALIA SCHAFFER Several years ago, I witnessed Malcolm Gladwell fearlessly tell a Cambridge audience that nobody…
Is it possible that America's most influential higher education ranking system is biased?
It's time for the U.S. News reign to end.
Malcolm Gladwell examines why HBCUs score so low in U.S. News & World Report College Rankings
Gladwell's "Revisionist History" podcast looked deeper into the publication's ranking system and how little it seems to…
Malcolm also had several high-profile interviews, including Ozyfest.
And he made an appearance on The Breakfast Club. Here is the segment on Dillard.
And you can watch the full interview here.
I’ve heard from companies that now have Dillard on their radar for internships and jobs, or new donors writing and sending checks after hearing this podcast. It was a powerful moment in 2021.